Board chooses Alley Poyner for planning

The Red Oak School Board made a final decision on an architectural firm for its facilities assessment and long-range planning.
At the June 13 meeting, the board heard presentations from Insight Design, CNBA, and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture.  At the time of that meeting, the board heard the presentations, but took no action.
When discussions were opened, the board was still somewhat undecided, with board member Roger Carlson saying he was torn between a couple of the firms.
“On the one hand, it’s nice to get new and fresh ideas; at the same time, I think about the longevity, and the continuity of our planning. I’m still up in the air about it,” Carlson said.
Those sentiments were shared by board members Jackie DeVries, Bryce Johnson, and Kathy Walker. A question was raised on whether, if the board approved a long-range plan, if it would be followed if the board changed members in a few years.
Board president Bret Blackman felt the board needed to be in a position to articulate its plan at a five to 10 year increment before it did anything of any significant value.
“Feedback is important, but having all of the cards on the table is just as important, to make sure that we know the cost of X means that we’re forfeiting the right to do Y. There’s a lot of dynamic factors in that,” Blackman said. “But with that said, my personal opinion is that the continuing improvement of our school district is a really important attribute. I can personally sense the momentum over the last five years of what’s happened here. I’m not saying facilities is all of it, but I do think it’s a bit of a factor and shows us that we’re a progressive district and a community.”
Blackman favored the continuity of having Ally Poyner Macchietto continue the process, and cited they are still a partner with Boyd Jones, that did a lot of work for the district before.
“I thought they brought the most complete team to the table. Also, we’re not committing ourselves to a multi-million dollar project, we’re committing ourselves to around $30,000 to do the master planning progress, and we’re not acting on anything beyond that,” commented Blackman. “A 10-year plan isn’t set in stone, it simply gives the district something to aspire to, and I come from a world where this kind of thing happens all of the time.”
DeVries was in agreement that continual improvements needed to happen and the district had to stay progressive.
Blackman felt that pursuing the new plan, and having the remainder of the work that couldn’t be done in the initial project from five years ago was important.
“There’s still a lot left, and having it all laid out on the table so everyone can understand what the options are for us to consider [is important]. Also, it’s not something that may happen in one big project. It’s things that may take place over the next five to seven years,” Blackman explained.
Carlson said that if the board pursued the plan with a third-party that money was spent on, and was an outside party, he could see how future boards would put more weight behind the plan than something that was done internally.
The board unanimously approved awarding services for facilities assessment and long-range planning to Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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