Highlights of 5/21 meeting: Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee


Highlights of 5/21 meeting: Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee

Facility Advisory subcommittees present preliminary recommendations

All six subcommittees of the Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee presented a first look Tuesday at preliminary recommendations for each of their target facility areas in our school district.

After the initial presentation Tuesday, subcommittees gathered additional feedback from other committee members and will spend the next few months making necessary changes – with the goal of presenting final recommendations about facility and infrastructure needs in August.  The superintendent and Lincoln Board of Education will then evaluate and analyze recommendations in preparation for a potential bond issue in 2020. 

The Facility Advisory Committee is a group of 100 Lincoln stakeholders who are meeting monthly to analyze long-range facility needs to envision schools of the future and ensure that LPS wisely accommodates student growth into the next 7-10 years. 

These are highlights of the preliminary recommendations from each subcommittee as presented Tuesday.

Infrastructure and Finance Subcommittee

  • LPS should move forward with the Everett Elementary School and Park Middle School renovation (Indoor Air Quality) projects, designated as priorities in the LPS 10-Year Facilities and Infrastructure Plan.
  • LPS should – at a minimum – invest/dedicate 10-20 percent of any future bond election proceeds toward infrastructure projects.
  • LPS should plan to fund the next bond issue within the existing bond levy (of 16.1 cents) – a bond issue that could range from $250-290 million.

Early Childhood and Community Learning Centers

  • LPS should use all existing space to develop additional early childhood classrooms and add classrooms to existing elementary schools where physically possible. Consideration should be given to adding early childhood classrooms to each new facility when designing new elementary, middle and high schools.
  • LPS should, in the future and as quickly as financially possible, build a 10-classroom stand-alone early childhood facility for the early childhood preschool program with adequate ground for expansion, and add more classrooms as the LPS student population grows.
  • As LPS continues to grow and school enrollment shifts, LPS should continue to determine which schools will qualify for Community Learning Center programming – and look for outside partnerships and grant opportunities to support funding for CLCs.

New High Schools

  • LPS should construct two high schools – each with an initial capacity of 1,000 students, but designed and constructed with core facilities to accommodate 2,000 students at full buildout. Core facilities include multipurpose/cafeteria, kitchen, library/media, administrative/office, student commons, gymnasiums and sports-related facilities – and those core facilities should be consistent with the six existing high schools. LPS should target an initial facility size of 230,000 square feet; master-planned to expand to 360,000 square feet.
  • LPS should add new high school capacity in the northwest and southeast quadrants of the city.
  • LPS should build two high schools strategically located in geographic areas of growth, continue facility equity in planning for new high schools, and design schools with as much flexibility as possible. 

High School Athletics and Activities

  • LPS should construct additional district athletics and activities facilities.
  • LPS should enhance/improve athletics facilities at each of the existing high schools to create equity and address needs (such as synthetic turf on all the practice fields).
  • LPS should co-locate these new athletic facilities with the proposed new high school/s due to cost savings (of an estimated $4 million) compared to stand-alone facilities. 

High School Focus Programs and Alternatives

  • LPS should identify focus programs to be located in any new high school and determine facility requirements.
  • LPS should evaluate existing high schools, which do not currently have a focus program, and identify focus programs to be located in each school, taking into account current facilities, current curriculum or extracurricular focus, private-public partnership opportunities.
  • LPS should engage community organizations and businesses to assist in developing new focus programs that align with business/industry needs.

New Elementary and Middle Schools, and Alternate Grade Level Configurations (each recommendation carries equal priority)

  • Northeast and East Lincoln: LPS should build a new elementary school somewhere east of 84th street and north of O street.
  • Southeast Lincoln: LPS should build a new elementary school somewhere south of Rokeby Road and east of 56th street.
  •   South and Southwest Lincoln: LPS should build a new, flexible-platform facility that would open as a K-8 facility serving both elementary and middle school students – somewhere south of Yankee Hill Road and west of 56th street. (Flexible-format facilities would initially serve as K-8 attendance centers and could be repurposed to full elementary or middle schools in the future.)
  • West and Northwest Lincoln: LPS should build a new, small-format, flexible-platform facility that would open as a K-8 facility serving elementary and middle school students – somewhere north of Interstate-80 and west of Lincoln Airport. LPS should also build a new elementary school somewhere north of Superior Street and west of 40th Street.  
  • LPS should complete renovations as recommended by LPS staff, specifically eliminating out-of-date specialized classrooms in current middle schools. 

The Board of Education charged LPS Superintendent Steve Joel with the establishment of the Facility Advisory Committee to review the school district’s facility and infrastructure needs, options and priorities.  The Committee is led by co-leaders Maribel Cruz, senior leadership consultant for Talent Plus; and Nick Cusick, president of Bison, Inc. 

For more about presentations, to ask questions, to find a list of Committee members, meetings and resources, go to: https://home.lps.org/sfac/ 


Published: May 21, 2019, Updated: May 21, 2019