October 25, 2023

School Facility Efficiency Review Committee


Meeting 6 Minutes: 10/25/23

Committee Convened: 5:38 PM.

Announcement prior to the meeting: Request that everyone sign in.


Welcome from Shannon Bingham (SB) from Western Demographics, Inc. (WDI). Mr. Bingham acknowledged the Squaxin tribal ancestry of the district.


SB discussed data concerns expressed by some committee members regarding the lack of detail in the cost savings data. He explained he used the data provided by the district. However, he indicated that he could work with district staff to develop more detail over the weekend.


Question: How should “right sizing” be determined?

It is not the committee’s role to conduct budgetary feasibility for the district. The committee role is to focus on efficiency. Generally speaking, schools under 300 students are expensive to run. Right sizing attempts to develop efficiency based on economies of scale. Larger schools are also able to offer a higher level of service due to more staff being present in buildings.


Seems like the schools in there are clearly in there as examples. I think we can move forward. It would be great to have a spreadsheet on P8/P6 analysis.



Question: We have spent a bunch of time and the numbers are going to come pretty close to the cost savings estimates originally provided. I don’t think the additional budget numbers are going to be that helpful. More data is not going to help.


Question: We should vote.


Question: These aren’t widgets, these are kids. The data and the community deserve as much effort as this room can give. I don’t understand why those schools were chosen. I recently learned there is a committee member that has a direct relationship with a board member. That means there are three people from one school. I’m concerned that this conflict of interest has not been disclosed. I have spent a year on this to make sure this is happening in good faith. I don’t agree with moving forward. We have members of the board with children in schools we are talking about. How are we supposed to be a board advisory committee when they are already in the room. I have no faith/trust in this process. Especially voting on options.


Question: Does this cost us to prepare the scenarios.



Question: I’m fine with working with “horseshoes and hand grenades” [aka what we have]. A: To me, it makes sense to address $3 million given for one scenario and the per school cost estimates originally provided.



Show of hands to do the work and come back with a set of samples on Monday and to eliminate pages 14 & 16 from conversation tonight.


  • Vote: 16 of 30 voting members in favor of more data provided on Monday.


SB reviewed bundles that he prepared and showed estimated annual savings and estimated one-time costs. Reviewed questions/comments made on note cards and committee charter.


Break 7:10-7:16.


After the break the committee worked in small groups to identify additional school bundles that they would like to see at the next meeting. Those additional scenarios were added to the survey prepared for the end of the meeting. The committee members all responded to the survey before leaving.


The committee members interspersed questions and comments throughout the evening. Those not included above are included below.



Questions/Comments from committee members with answer from SB/WDI and or administration members:


I’m dubious about estimated savings for P8. For example, seems like they could still end up having two principals. Griffin School District has two principals.

What I’ve seen is there are true economies of scale with more students in the building.


What is the available funding for Reeves to make it viable for P8?

It depends on how big we want the program to be. Data from the table was referenced.


What does Anchorage not like about 7-8’s?
The revolving door issue of students only being there 24 months.


If the program didn’t go with the school, wouldn’t the kids revert to their neighborhood school?
In general, kids seem more bonded with the kids in their extra-curriculars (or program) than their neighbors. Maybe half of them would.


Re: 4A, does that mean that McKenny students are moved to other facilities?
Yes. McKenny in Centennial and/or Pioneer. But would need to have more conversation with people who know those neighborhoods.


Re: Lincoln. That is going to be a tough sell.
Many districts have moved students to their newest buildings with fewer maintenance issues.


Is Lincoln on the table or not on the table? Over 27% of the entire district we are not looking at. Why aren’t we looking at Avanti, for example? JAMS and CSI can be moved wherever we want, so trying to understand why we aren’t discussing those.
CSI and JAMS are schools within schools. Lincoln’s Options program is 100% associated with identity of the school. CSI seems westside centric. By Monday I will have a geographic distribution for JAMS and will be able to say which area it is linked to.


If the choice enrollment students at Lincoln (about 200) return to their home schools… Everyone is going to argue that the identity of their schools is important.


What is the number for an elementary and middle that they don’t have a subsidy.

About 675 for middle and over 450 for elementary.


Concerned that moving LP Brown students to McLane is a traumatic event that will set them back 3 years.


Would it be possible to see the numbers for that on a spreadsheet?

I have a note to address “put everybody back.”


Looking at some of the data you’ve provided for research studies: ORLA has 265 who are from out-of-district completely. So, district loses $3 million, if we lose them.

That is research item #46 if anyone wants to look at it.


The meeting adjourned at approximately 8:10 p.m.