Looking to the future: What is ahead for BISD schools?
Friday, April 04, 2014 5:47 PM
Brownfield Independent School District Board members met Thursday night at the BISD Administration building to hear an evaluation concerning current school facilities.
The evaluation was less than stellar especially for Brownfield Middle School which came with a with a recommendation to decommission when possible.
Paul Trautman is a Facility Consultant with the Dallas-based Genesis Partnership and was also the project director of the BISD facility evaluation.
Trautman started by describing the evaluation process and what criteria was involved in the study.
He said the study focused on a demographic analysis of school population and enrollment forecasts as well as an evaluation of the physical and educational features of the campuses. He also said a capacity analysis and space inventory of the facilities was done as was an evaluation of the best use of existing facilities. A theoretical 1000-point scale was used to give a specific value with 111 question evaluating six functional characteristics. Those characteristics included educational adequacy, health and safety, accessibility, efficiency, flexibility and appearance.
Trautman’s enrollment projections showed moderate growth over the next 40 years. One of the reasons for the moderate growth, said Trautman, could be due to inadequate housing in the area.
The rate of change forecast in Terry County population showed slow growth from 12,651 in 2010 to 16,108 in 2050, which is about 27 percent over a 40-year span.
Trautman, who tempered his comments by stating his job was to find the weak points and negative aspects for improvement, pointed out deficiencies in space at both Bright Beginnings Academy and Colonial Heights . Another issue for both campuses revolved around their accessibility and traffic flow issues.
“Bright Beginnings has served you well and fulfilled its purpose,” Trautman said. “But it cannot continue because of its space.”
The bright spot of his evaluation was Oak Grove Elementary ,which was refurbished and revamped with a major addition in 2003.
Trautman said the lowest point in the evaluation did belong to BMS which had a evaluation score low enough to be recommended for the “abandon and replace” category. The BMS Auditorium, he said, could possibly be saved and used in other functions to serve the community.
“The auditorium and the gym, I would hold onto,” he said.
Another critique Trautman had was for Brownfield High School, which he said was inconvenient in relation to its distance from the sports complex. The distance could be a safety issue, he said, with student motorists passing near an elementary school.
Another issue BISD will face, said Trautman, is revamping campuses to be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant by building ramps and refurbishing items such as recessed water fountains and restroom facilities.
Trautman encouraged board members to create a master plan that would detail either replacing or refurbishing current campuses and to also do another demographic study to plan renovations and construction plans around what growth was expected in the community.
Creating a comprehensive plan, he said, would help to efficiently plan improvements over the next 15 to 20 years.
Trautman also suggested implementing portable facilities to help alleviate spacial inadequacies.
The highest priority and the most problematic issue facing BISD was addressing what to do about the BMS campus.
“Replacing your middle school is the highest priority,” he said.