More than 120 parents, students and staff from every school in Pattonville met at a districtwide Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) meeting on Aug. 31 to review potential plans for facility updates and to prioritize the needs for their buildings. Representatives from the architectural firm Ittner Cordogan Clark Group, along with Pattonville district and school leaders, were on hand to share the district’s work to date on developing a new master facilities plan and answer questions. The individual school improvement teams heard an overview from the architects and then met and discussed the project lists developed for their schools.
Since April, Pattonville leaders have been working with parents, students and staff to develop a new district-wide facilities plan to ensure Pattonville’s schools are well maintained and meet the educational needs of its students. The Pattonville Board of Education hired Ittner to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of district buildings and assist Pattonville in developing the new plan. To date, Ittner has worked with building principals and district leaders to conduct an assessment of the condition of Pattonville buildings, including a space needs analysis. Ittner representatives also met with planning committees, building staff, parents and students to help develop the plan. Initial project lists, cost estimates and conceptual designs were shared at the Aug. 31 meeting for the school improvement teams to review and prioritize. Based on input from the schools, the lists, cost estimates and designs will be refined and finalized for presentation to the school board in October.
“With our community’s support, we’ve completed many projects over the past decade to address the infrastructure needs of our aging buildings,” said Dr. Tim Pecoraro, superintendent. “While we still have some of those concerns, now is the time to look forward and address our growing student enrollment and put into place some of the best practices for creating learning spaces that better meet our student and staff needs for teaching and learning.”
Pattonville has been able to address a number of critical needs in the district via bond issues that required zero change to its tax rate. In the past decade, district enrollment has grown by nearly 10% and future enrollment projections indicate the district may need additional capacity for approximately 300 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Depending on the outcome of the 2021 facilities planning process, the district may ask voters to approve another zero tax rate change bond issue in 2022.
Every few years, Pattonville updates its facilities plan in order to address building needs for learning purposes and to keep its aging facilities maintained and in good repair. The last facilities master plan was completed in 2016, and a zero tax rate increase bond issue was approved by voters in April 2017 to fund updates and improvements included in the plan. As promised to voters during bond issues in 2006, 2010 and 2017, Pattonville has maintained its debt service levy (the portion of its tax rate that can only be used for paying off bond issue debt) unchanged at 49 cents per $100 of assessed value.