Three KUSD schools to relocate
At this evening’s KUSD standing committee meetings, the topic of the relocation of Brompton School, Harborside Academy and Paideia Academy was discussed. All three schools have leases that expire in July, 2012. The lease payments at both Harborside and Paideia are well above the market value for the buildings that they are currently in. There is also an interest in expanding Brompton to a K-8 school to help its financial stability. Additionally, with the pressing need to further reduce the KUSD budget, relocation of these three charter schools presented a cost savings opportunity.
Harborside serves approximately 440 students in over 20 classrooms. Harborside would occupy the entire third floor and a portion of the second floor of Reuther Central High School. Paideia, which would be merged with Harborside and expanded from approximately 75 students to an eventual 138 students, would be located on a portion of the second floor. This would in effect merge Paideia and Harborside into one grade six through twelve school.
There will be a number of changes made at Reuther to accommodate the introduction of the combined Harborside/Paideia school into the building. Some spaces will be shared, such as the gymnasium, kitchen, lunch room, and computer lab. Two programs currently housed at Reuther would be relocated to the second floor of Indian Trail Academy. Those programs are the Infant Lab and the School Age Parent (SAPAR) program. One member of the Planning/Facilities/Equipment committee expressed her concern about having the Infant Lab on the second floor. She was concerned about the access and safety of the infants in the program, but she was assured that no child would be “left behind” in the case of an emergency evacuation or fire.
The costs associated with the relocation and operations would be paid for by the charter schools’ budgets. There are two major categories of costs: the one-time costs associated with any necessary remodeling of Reuther and Indian Trail to accommodate the charter schools, and the annual operations and maintenance costs that can be attributed to the charter school. The leases would provide a costs savings to the district of over $350,000/year.
The idea of relocating Brompton to Jane Vernon Elementary was first brought up during one of the Harborside/Paideia to Reuther meetings and was explored in detail late this summer and into the fall. Brompton is currently housed at the Baptist Tabernacle Church, 7951 – 36th Avenue. Brompton would be relocated to what has been referred to as the “orthopedic wing” of Jane Vernon. The two schools would be, for the most part, independent of one another which will be facilitated by the creation of a second lunchroom at the school. The most significant shared spaces would be the gymnasium and the playground. Brompton would have a separate entrance on the west end of the orthopedic wing, which is where the Brompton office would be located. One of the biggest benefits of moving into a district-owned building like Vernon is that the maintenance and custodial costs for the building are already being funded in the district facilities budget.
Karen Davis, assistant superintendent of elementary education, and Suzanne Loewen, principal of the Brompton School, were present at tonight’s meeting and spoke on behalf of the proposed renewal of the Brompton School Charter contract. Members of the Curriculum/Program committee were hesitant to recommend that the school’s charter be approved and forwarded on to the full Board because all three charter schools’ contracts are going to be reviewed in the very near future.
The relocation of all three schools was approved by the committees and will be forwarded to the full Board for consideration at the December 20, 2011, regular board meeting.