1. What is the Facilities Master Plan (FMP)?
The Facilities Master Plan (FMP) provides guidance to Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) on how to make and prioritize improvements to its 72 buildings and 465 acres land over the next 10 years (2016-2026). The FMP guides SPPS in making good financial decisions in improvement projects that are equitable among building and school sites across the district, while also ensuring the facilities meet the evolving needs of students.
The FMP was developed with input from more than one thousand people, including students, families, staff and community partners, from May 2014 to December 2015. This input helped develop the FMP’s guiding documents – Vision, Principles, and Standards. Each school then created a team of people to identify the top priorities for improvement at their building.
2. How do buildings support student learning?
School buildings must not only be warm, safe and dry, but they must also support a variety of teaching and learning styles. Sixty percent of SPPS schools are more than 60 years old. It’s important that they keep pace with the evolving needs of teaching and learning. Watch these short videos to better understand how facilities can support student learning .
3. Why is my school not listed on the five-year renovation schedule? Is there a chance it might get on the list?
Although a few buildings, as shown below, are not scheduled to be remodeled in the next five years, these schools will still receive essential improvements, such as security updates and the installation of audio/visual equipment.
Please note that the list of projects over the next five years will be reviewed annually by the Facilities Master Plan Committee (FMP-C) to address issues that may impact building design plans.
Battle Creek Elementary
Central Senior High School
Eastern Heights Elementary
Four Seasons Arts+
Hazel Park Preparatory
J.J. Hill Montessori
Mississippi Creative Arts
Randolph Heights Elementary
Benjamin E. Mays IB World School (Rondo Complex)
Capitol Hill (Rondo Complex)
4. When will my school’s facility project be done?
The proposed schedule for each school’s facility improvement project is listed here.
5. How can I see the plans for my school remodeling project?
Each building’s proposed project plans are listed on the FMP website.
6. How can I get involved in my school’s FMP project?
Each school will have a School Design Committee led by architects overseeing the remodeling work. Contact your school principal to get involved.
7. How will Saint Paul Public Schools pay for these school facility improvement projects?
Every year since 1989, the Board of Education has voted on facility improvements that in turn impact property taxes through a tax levy. A tax levy allows school districts to raise money through public taxation to fund construction projects to ensure school buildings are kept in good shape and meet the learning needs of students. The Board of Education determines the levy amount each year based on specific facility needs for the upcoming year.
On Tuesday, April 26, the Board of Education will vote on the FMP’s five-year plan for proposed facility projects with separate actions later in the year to incorporate this work in the district annual budget process.
8. Shouldn’t the building funds be used to directly support teaching and learning in the classroom?
Building Construction Funds are used to maintain, improve and remodel SPPS facilities, meaning school buildings and land. For example, this money is used to make sure buildings are safe, warm and dry, but also to make improvements like expansions or remodeling projects such as new science labs, performance theaters or additional classrooms.
By law, Building Funds cannot be used for other funding categories (see chart below) such as the General Fund, which pays for teacher salaries, transportation and other teaching and learning needs. Increases to the Building Construction Funds do not decrease the General Fund.
The Building Construction Funds represents 4% of SPPS’ overall budget, which is funded from the sale of bonds, capital loans, or the Alternative Bonding Program (including levies; see question 7 above).