Facilities meeting brings community into facilities talks

A public presentation was held 6:30 p.m. Monday at Nodaway Valley Middle School to address prospective facilities needs in the school district and what those might mean for the district going forward at Nodaway Valley Middle School and online.

The presentation was given by Daric O’Neal of Alley Poyner Macchietto, who is partnering with Boyd Jones Construction on this project. They are the architectural team and construction managing team, respectively.

O’Neal stressed community involvement as the core of his team’s process as future meetings will be built off of continuing feedback.

“Everybody in the community that attends these meetings and watches them online will have an opportunity to provide input,” he said.

Participants, both in person and on Zoom, could participate in a survey following the presentation. The community involvement process will employ the use of focus groups in the future, which any member of the community can volunteer for.

O’Neal relayed his team’s assessment of the school district’s facilities.

“Yes, you do have operational deficiencies in a school district of your size with multiple communities and multiple buildings,” he said. O’Neal reassured members of the community that the state of current facilities is not unusual for a school district like Nodaway Valley.

Alley Poyner Macchietto’s assessment of the facilities gave the middle school a score of 5.7/10, for instance, as O’Neal said this assessment heavily factors in the age of buildings. The elementary building, finished in 2018, rated a 9.3.

A few high points O’Neal gave as examples of hypothetical projects are new practice gyms that take Nodaway Valley’s growing participation in archery into mind, or security measures which force visitors to buildings into the office before entering the rest of the building.

Funding details will be answered more in-depth at the next facilities meeting, but any projects could look to use the statewide penny sales tax and energy rebates to offset costs.

“I’ve never met a school district that knows they want to do something to improve their schools that doesn’t have a budget,” O’Neal said, anticipating questions of funds.

In his experience, O’Neal also said that amount and quality of renovations and possible additions will be prioritized for fixed costs.

O’Neal described his team’s process as big-picture and long-term, in which they will focus on utilizing existing space rather than just recommending modifications and additions.

“Let’s not jump over dollars to save pennies,” O’Neal said.

The next facilities meeting is scheduled for April 20, according to the website built for these discussions. It will be held at the high school in Greenfield.

Presentation slides and FAQs about facilities meetings can be viewed at sites.google.com/view/nodaway-valley.