FACT TEAM Meeting #1

FACT TEAM Meeting #1
Posted on 02/02/2021
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On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the District’s Facilities Advisory Committee Team (FACT) held their first meeting in what will be a six-month long planning process to understand the current condition of all District buildings. 

“More than 65 representatives were present for the first meeting via Zoom.  The team is composed of parents, District staff members, and members of the community. Topics covered included the charge and expectations for FACT members, an overview of the condition of the buildings with a capacity update, and a video tour of the elementary schools,” explained Steve Eichman, Facilities Manager.

Over the coming weeks, the FACT Team will work to determine solutions to address the facilities challenges outlined in the District’s Facilities Study and Existing Building Capacity Analysis, ultimately making a formal recommendation to the Board of Education in June of this year. 

The Facilities Study and Existing Building Capacity Analysis, conducted by CG Schmidt and Bray Architects, the construction and design consultants engaged by the District, found that many of the District’s 23 buildings were in urgent need of either repair or potential replacement due to infrastructure and building systems needs stemming from their advanced age, with the average age of the buildings being more than 75 years.  

“Our District currently serves 7,440 students (2020-2021 school year); however, the existing buildings serving our District have a total capacity of 8,915 students, which is nearly 1,500 students above current enrollment needs. This suggests that the District is currently operating more buildings than needed to support current student enrollment. Our end goal with this process is to create schools that inspire and shape the education of our children that our communities deserve,” said Dr. Marty Lexmond, Superintendent of Schools. 

Slated to meet several times between now and early June, the FACT Team will work alongside District administration, CG Schmidt and Bray Architects to develop numerous options to address these needs in a cost effective manner before issuing their final recommendation to the Board of Education.  

“We will prepare a Meeting Summary that we will share with the public,” said Lexmond.  “We want our process to be transparent.  It is a very important time for us.”

January 12, 2021 - Meeting Summary 
The FACT TEAM is charged with making recommendations to the West Allis-West Milwaukee Board of Education regarding the following two questions:

How can schools be renovated and/or replaced and/or consolidated in ways that inspire and shape learning for the future?

How can we do this in ways that are cost effective for our community?

Over the coming weeks, FACT will learn about school finance, our enrollment projections, needs at the intermediate and high schools, our Capital Improvement Plan/Budget, and most importantly, discuss the kind of learning environment our students and community deserve. 

Meeting #1Takeaways

  • Our District currently operates 23 buildings including 11 elementary schools, three intermediate schools, two comprehensive high schools, one smaller project-based learning high school, and six supplementary buildings. The average building age is over 75 years old.

  • Many of the buildings within the District are dated and have significant building infrastructure and building systems (plumbing, mechanical (HVAC) and electrical) needs. This is not due to a lack of maintenance throughout the District, but simply due to age and coming up on need for repair / replacement of key building infrastructure and building systems components.

  • Our District currently serves 7,440 students (2020-2021 school year); however, the existing buildings serving our District have a total capacity of 8,915 students, which is nearly 1,500 students above current enrollment needs. This suggests that our District is currently operating more buildings than needed to support current student enrollment.