Facilities Update – Friday, April 6, 2018
Each month, Brooklyn Center Community Schools will provide an update about upcoming construction work at Earle Brown Elementary and Brooklyn Center STEAM. Throughout the construction process, we will keep families, students and staff aware of all the changes that will be happening. Remodeling our schools to better meet the needs of our students and staff is exciting, however, it can be messy and at times chaotic. We will maintain safe and productive learning spaces during the construction process. Our upgraded and renovated schools will help us continue to hire the best staff and offer the best programming for our students.
Last November, voters in Brooklyn Center Community Schools approved two funding requests. The first question will increase Brooklyn Center School District’s operating levy by providing an additional $210 per student annually for school operations. This funding will help the district improve classroom instruction, expand teacher training and replace aging buses. The second question will provide $29.9 million in construction funds to increase and remodel classroom spaces, improve school security, provide separate entrances and classroom areas for middle school and high school students and address deferred maintenance needs.
The combined voter-approved funding from both requests will help the school district:
- Improve instruction for all students in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM)
- Expand teacher training to improve academic achievement
- Increase academic opportunities for all students
- Replace aging buses to ensure safe and reliable student transportation
- Add classroom space for our increasing enrollment and growing pre-kindergarten program
- Improve school safety by designing secure building entrances
- Remodel existing classrooms to better support learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM)
- Create separate areas for middle school and high school students at Brooklyn Center Middle and High School
- Address deferred maintenance at both Earle Brown Elementary and Brooklyn Center Middle and High School
The operating levy increase request was in response to state funding that has not kept up with inflation or increasing educational costs. This will be the district’s first levy increase in more than 15 years. The construction funds request was due to increasing enrollment, academic changes and aging buildings that have led to safety, academic, crowding and deferred maintenance needs in the schools. The last time voters approved construction (bond) funding was in 2001.
November 2017 – March 2018, Programming Phase
Since the referendum passed in November, staff from throughout the district were involved in the programming process and worked with architects from TSP Architects. Key findings from the programming phase include:
- Remodel Brooklyn Center STEAM (BCS) for designated middle and high school spaces and programming and separate entrances
- Upgrade security at both buildings
- Create space for grade level groups and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) at Earle Brown Elementary
- Create space for students who receive special services to have their needs met
- Create STEAM spaces at both buildings
Spring 2018, Design Phase
After the completion of the programming phase, TSP architects looked at the needs that staff identified and are now working in the design phase.
Key pieces of the design phase include:
- Creating initial designs and concepts
- Establishing the construction timeline
Once designs are approved, the district will seek bids for the construction work.
Summer – Fall 2018, Planning Phase
We will hire a construction team and begin planning for construction. We will also request bids for contractors and materials.
January 2019 – September 2020, Construction Phase
Construction will take place, which will include:
- Remodel the entrance at BCS for improved security and to create a separate entrance for Brooklyn Center Middle School and Brooklyn Center High School
- Construction and remodeling of the north and west wings, locker rooms and The Pit at BCS
- Remodel the stage area of the gym at BCS to convert into classroom and learning spaces
- Complete deferred maintenance needs at BCS
- Create STEAM spaces at BCS and Earle Brown Elementary
- Build an addition above the early childhood spaces at Earle Brown
- Remodel the entrance at Earle Brown for improved security
After the design phase is completed, we will share a more detailed construction timeline. Construction will be completed by September 2020.