Building Project Updates
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TDA December Update - Posted 1/24/23
Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District – December Update
As the cold winter weather arrives, Fairport Harbor EVSD and the design team have made tremendous progress on designs for the $50 million, 116,000 SF PK-12 school. The new school replaces Harding High School and the elementary school with a single, consolidated facility on the existing high school site. Scheduled to open for the 2025-2026 school year, this new facility features advanced learning environments, updated technology, and modern building systems. While designed specifically for the student population, it also includes space for the attached Fairport Harbor Library.
Since September, designers from ThenDesign Architecture (TDA), the district administration, school board members, and officials from the OFCC have been meeting weekly to discuss plans for the school and work through a variety of details regarding the project. Additionally, a "Construction Leadership" group was formed. Comprised of school personnel, this group works in conjunction with the design team to address specific questions about how the facility can impact current staff and students when it’s completed. Together these two groups provide valuable insight for the architects while they develop plans for the new school.
This November, a variety of important steps were taken in the design process. Several staff engagements were conducted to gather input from educators who will ultimately use the new building. This ensures the finished product addresses the needs of the district.
To further designs for the library, a presentation by the architect was given to the Library Board on November 8th. This gave them a glimpse into the process and provided a chance to provide feedback. The new library will be attached to the school but still maintain a separate entrance for the public. Working closely with the district, plans are in place so students can continue to use this feature during the school day.
Improving safety and security is a key priority of this project and in mid-November, the district and safety officials met to discuss how to best incorporate modern security technologies into the school. While there are many new state-of-the-art systems going into it, a key discussion for the district is how they will transition from 2 buildings to 1. This will help simplify some security processes and allow for combined resources to improve this overall aspect of the project.
With the importance of environmental sustainability, the new school will be LEED silver certified and incorporate many “green features.” An eco-charette was held on November 29th. This is a meeting, where team members review the school’s sustainability approach and plan how it can achieve the required LEED credits to ensure it is a sustainable project. Sustainable features include mapping out the building’s heating and cooling systems, an efficient lighting strategy, while providing flexible outdoor playgrounds and easy site accessibility.
Also in November, Osborn Engineering was selected as the "Commission Agent" for the project. They will ensure the district's needs are met and provide oversight during the construction project. Bringing them into the design process now allows them to best understand and represent the district during key milestones in construction.
All this design input culminated in the first, early set of initial drawings, called “schematic design drawings.” These rough drawings enable architects to do initial cost estimates for the entire project and serve as a foundation to continue the work. They will be refined in the next phase "design development," to better conform to the project budget and needs of the school. CT Taylor, the Construction Manager, will be using these to compile the cost estimates.
As the winter progresses, additional staff engagements will occur as design development gets underway. This iterative refinement process ensures all the needs of the many stakeholder groups are met.
Looking ahead to the new year, CT Taylor, in conjunction with TDA, will host a construction overview meeting to go through the details of construction and what residents should expect during that period. As design development culminates, we look forward to reporting back on plans and renderings of the new school.
We encourage all community members interested in this project to attend the monthly Board of Education meetings. Architects present updates on the new school building design and offer opportunities to ask questions, becoming more informed on how this project is providing a better educational environment for the students of Fairport Harbor EVSD.
On June 6, 2022, members of the Fairport Harbor EVSD administration, educators, village services, parents, and students gathered to attend an Educational Visioning Session. This all-day session focused on collaboration and brainstorming on designs for their new school, the impact on the community, and how it will improve students' education in the district. The following pages detail the input gathered during this session and draws summary conclusions on how this information can be incorporated into the design process for the project.
Posted 6/20/22- Educational Visioning Memorandum
Fairport Harbor EVSD – Educational Visioning Update
Fairport Harbor EVSD – Educational Visioning Update
On June 6th, members of the Fairport Harbor EVSD administration, educators, village services, parents, and students gathered to attend an Educational Visioning Session hosted by ThenDesign Architecture. This all-day session focused on collaboration and brainstorming on designs for their new school, impact on the community, and how it will improve students education in the District.
Superintendent Domenic Paola commented: "Today we came together with members of the community and stakeholders in this project to begin the process of creating a vision for this school."
With over 70 in attendance, everyone had a say in the design activities throughout the day. "'Collaboration' is how we make progress in Fairport Harbor. I often refer to it as the engine that drives us. Everything we have accomplished in the District is a result of it and with Visioning today, that is definitely the case."
The new 116,000 sf PreK-12 will be located on the existing Harding High School site. It will replace the two aging buildings in the District and provide a modern educational environment which is better positioned to accommodate personalized student needs and foster learning and collaboration.
The day was broken up into various exercises geared towards educating stakeholders on the challenges and successes of existing facilities and drawing out their feedback on design priorities. Attendees experimented with spatial relationships inside the building and attempted to organize the major building sections on the site.
Early in the day, principals from Fairport Harbor, Katie Rumbarger, the Harding High School Principal, and Heidi Elmore, the McKinley Elementary School Principal, covered the limitations of the over 100-year-old buildings, then the Superintendent, followed by encouraging attendees to think differently about how different sized spaces can be better used for personalized learning. This stands in contrast to having the same sized classrooms throughout. Programs such as art, technology, and robotics can all benefit from
Katie commented, "In our school district we focus on personalized learning. We focus on what every student needs and I feel like our spaces aren't now adaptable for that." Educators are looking forward to having different spaces to tailor their educational approach. "What we are doing in the classroom everyday doesn't fit our environment. So, by going through this process, we can personalize our spaces to fit the needs of our students."
Activities throughout the day were designed to build off one another, with each one informing of the next activity in the layout of the new school. This information is invaluable to the architectural design process since it demonstrates the stakeholder priorities on spatial relationships, building massing, and space usage.
Heidi Elmore, principal of the McKinley Elementary, shared, "It was a great first step to get different peoples perspectives. This is a starting point but helpful to hear a variety of ideas and understand what is important to the different groups."
Attendees were split up into tables of 8 and given the opportunity to organize the interior layout of the school. Using paper cutouts scaled in relation to each other and the new school, the groups discussed how the pieces could be arranged that best suited how they saw the school functioning. They then reported out the decision to the group and took questions from designers. This activity was designed to spark conversation about how they saw spaces interacting in their PreK-12 school.
Another activity allowed the groups to then arrange that spatial diagram in 3D. Using colored blocks that represented the square footage of their school program, they tried to fit their building on the site, while maintaining the spatial relationships from the earlier activity. This was a challenge for many.
Also attending the meeting was the Village Mayor, chief of police, and fire chief, who provided input on safety and security issues, traffic flow, building a presence in a residential neighborhood, and the importance this project represented to the community.
With Educational Visioning complete, the design team is compiling a summary of the day's activities and outcome report to be viewed by the community. The outcomes of these activities help inform the new school's design.
Many were optimistic about how this new building will help educators expand the programs they currently offer.
Bill Lukshaw, a Board of Education member deeply involved in the process commented, "When I joined the Board, I wanted to make sure every student had the opportunity for a quality education. This new school building will further this mission."
For students who are used to buildings over 100 years old, the upgraded environment and new technology will be a welcome change.
"Students will have state-of-the-art facilities which will help individual students go further in their education." Reflecting on his time in school, Bill commented, "I wish I had those same opportunities with technology and specialized learning. Perhaps I would have gone further, but now, I am determined to provide that for others."
This summer, architects will begin the schematic design phase. During this phase, initial plans are developed which can then be used for cost estimation.
Later this fall, the team plans to engage with educators to better understand their individual needs for their inclusion in the new plans.
Look forward to the compiled Educational Visioning Report in late July!
Posted 5/24/22- Meet The Architects Memorandum
Fairport Harbor Exempted Village Schools Moves Forward With Design of New PreK-12 School
Fairport Harbor Exempted Village Schools Moves Forward With Design of New PreK-12 School
"On May 10th, members of the Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District, the Fairport Harbor Public Library, and community members gathered to hear about the design process for the new 116,000 sf, $50 million Prek-12 school.”
On May 10th, members of the Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District and Board of Education, representatives from the Fairport Harbor Public Library, community members and students gathered in the Harding Auditorium to hear representatives of ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) explain the design process for the new school, talk through the project scope, while providing an opportunity for questions.
The new 116,000 sf school will be located on the existing site for Harding High School. The $50 million project will serve as a PreK-12 school, consolidating the existing high school, junior high and elementary into one building. It will include a new Fairport Harbor Public Library which will be attached to the main building and is tentatively scheduled to open for the 2025-2026 school year.
Roots of the Fairport Harbor School Construction Project
The District embarked on this project almost 5 years ago in 2017, as they began exploring options for new facilities.
Domenic Paolo, superintendent of Fairport Harbor Schools commented, "This has been an exciting time for me, it has been a dream of mine for years to get to this point. Our architects, ThenDesign Architecture, worked with us in planning for this bond issue and are ready to start designing our new school."
At the outset of the project, a master planning process set the vision for this project.
District administrators and board members led the first meeting which was attended by 37 stakeholders from the community in February of 2017. This group began to explore options to replace the District’s aging infrastructure and then communicate on the District’s needs.
TDA was then hired to validate the District’s building assessments from 2008. This validation process included tours of the buildings for deficiencies, identifying the costs to correct issues, and then incorporating those findings into the official Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) assessment reports. Since the cost to renovate was over 2/3 the cost of new construction, the District pursued a new building.
Throughout 2018-2021, TDA and the facility committee explored a variety of site and master plan options for the new consolidated school. Although some sites seemed to offer greater advantages, such as flat ample acreage, there were usually other challenges associated, such as presence of hazardous materials, which ruled out feasibility.
Ultimately, the existing Harding High School site was deemed as the most appropriate.
A careful and thoughtful plan was developed and vetted by key stakeholders which included the facility planning committee, the board of education, the District, TDA, and the OFCC. In fact, OFCC Senior Planner, Bill Prenosil commended the in-depth plan, noting that the project “was likely the most complex, but well thought out planning effort he has worked on to-date.”
In November 2021, the Fairport Harbor School District passed a bond issue to generate $5 million dollars which would go towards the construction of a new PreK-12 school. By participating with the State of Ohio through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, the District qualified for state assistance to fund 93% of the total school construction.
At the May 10th meeting, Cheryl Fisher, an educational planner with TDA commented, "I want to give you what we hope is really exciting news. When we passed the bond in November 2021, we weren't anticipating the state to provide their 93% for another year or two or three."
This could mean that the District would have to, per the OFCC, construct a small portion of the building, then wait for state funding to construct the remaining portion.
Fisher continues, "What we have heard since then is that all of the "stages are set" and we are hopeful for the OFCC funding to come in as early as July 2022. So, that eliminates the need to do a segmented portion of the project, and we can do the entire design of the PreK-12 project at once. That's very, very exciting news for the community."
If the OFCC fully funds the project in July, the new school will be built all at once, instead of phasing the construction over several years.
The new school will be constructed on the south side of the existing Harding High School site.
Adam Parris, project manager for the new school commented, "The plan is to use the existing high school and middle school building during the two years of construction, then demolish the old building once the new building is complete."
This is common for projects built near existing schools.
Parris continues, "Students won't be using a "swing space" or be moved off-campus during the project. Construction and education will happen on the same site for two years."
Formal traffic and site studies will be carried out at the beginning of the project to ensure the feasibility of the site.
"This is a challenging site, as you can see, the existing school takes up a portion of the site and the gym addition is facing the football field. We're fairly limited to what we can do. As architects, we love challenges, and this site has its fair share of challenges."
Despite the current construction climate, the team is confident the school and library project will fit on the site and work within the established budget.
An Educational Visioning Session will be conducted in the beginning of June. Visioning is a collaborative event and its purpose is to allow architects, the School District, the Board of Education, and key stakeholders to imagine how a new school can provide a better educational environment for students and the community. Information is gathered to establish project goals, outline design challenges, and provide a glimpse into how this project furthers the mission of the school district.
A detailed report will be released after this event on the District’s website.
Over the summer, the design team will spend time putting together building components and initial plans for the new school. Educator and further community events are planned for the fall of 2022. This crucial feedback informs the overall layout and design of the new school. As schematic design continues, and building plans take shape, other municipal stakeholders are engaged.
Edited 5/10/22 to add Zoom Link:
Topic: Meet the Architect Meeting
Time: May 10, 2022, 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 942 6286 0696
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Curious about the development of Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District’s new PK-12? Join us on May 10th at 6:00 pm in the Fairport Harding Theatre to see what is in store for this exciting new project! Meet the team, share any questions you have, and learn how to stay informed throughout the process. We look forward to seeing you there!
The board will meet at the Harding High Auditorium to hear presentations from architect firms chosen by the school board for proposals for the Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP).
The meeting is open to the public for observations only and will allow board members to ask questions after each presentation. The architect firms will present information on their experience of design as well as their design process. There will be no action taken at tonight’s meeting, but the board will be asked to choose a firm at an upcoming board meeting. Public Board Meetings, 2/22/22, 2/24/22, 2/28/22
11/24/21 Posted RFQ
The Board of Education of the Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District, Ohio (the “Owner”) in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Sections 153.65 through 153.71 intends to contract with a professional design firm for professional design services (“Professional Design Services”) in connection with the Project as described below.
Click HERE to view the request.
Firms interested in being considered should reply with one (1) PDF electronic copy via email not later than 12:00 Noon EST on Thursday, December 16, 2021. Statements of qualifications received after this date and time will not be accepted. Statements of qualifications should be sent to the attention of:
Fairport Harbor Exempted Village School District 329 Vine Street Fairport Harbor, Ohio 44077 Attention: Sherry Williamson, Treasurer Email: email@example.com
Bond Issue 3 passed, now what?
I wanted to take a moment to thank our school district’s voters for helping shape the future of our schools. This continues a tradition of support in our schools and assures a lasting legacy of academic excellence and opportunities for our students, staff, and community.
Our next steps with our ELPP (Expedited Local Partnership Program) project remain in local control because we are not yet accessing Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) funds. While waiting for our funding turn with the OFCC, we will prepare our request for qualifications (RFQ) and Construction Manager at risk. The selection of our design and construction teams is our immediate focus. Our district will still lean on the OFCC as a consultant during the ELPP phase. We hope to have the RFQ finalized and ready to advertise the week of November 29, 2021. FHEVS will run the RFQ on their social media pages, local website and post it on the OFCC website for architects and invite them to apply. Once we have scored the most qualified architects, the top three will move on for an interview with the Board. FHEVS plans to secure the project architect by the end of January or the beginning of February 2022.
After securing the architect, working with bond counsel, we will determine the bond amount needed for phase one of the project. Exciting times ahead, we are looking forward to the journey as we move forward.
I am sure I speak for all of the Friends of Fairport Harbor Schools when I thank you for your support, trust, and the yes votes that made this dream a reality!
Thank you Fairport Voters 11/2/21
Bond Issue 3 has passed overwhelmingly.
Then Design Presentation from BOE Meeting 4/27/21
Building Project Community Meeting - Oct. 9, 2018
March 26, 2018 Board Meeting - Building Project - Facilities Update
February 2017 Building Project Flyer
As designs for the school progress, the team wanted to gather the community’s feedback on exterior styles for the new building. Below is a survey that should take less than 5 minutes to complete, and the information gathered will provide input on how the new school can look.
The survey will be open for about 2 weeks. We look forward to sharing back results at the future board meetings.
We appreciate your input!
It's great to see that so many people are as excited about this new facility as we are. We've included the form below for you to submit ideas and suggestions for the new space. Please note we are early in this process and have a long road ahead of us. We assure you that all suggestions will be read and considered if not responded to directly by school personnel. Thank you again for your support!
Click HERE to be directed to the New Campus
February 14, 2023
February 15, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Board Special Meeting
February 16, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Board Special Meeting
February 17, 2023
February 20, 2023
6:00 PM OHSAA Sectionals Start TBD
February 23, 2023
3:30 PM - 6:30 PM McKinley Spring Conferences
February 28, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Board Meeting