Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison, Wisconsin

Art Rainwater, Superintendent
Minutes for Long Range Planning
December 6, 2004
Doyle Administration Building
545 West Dayton Street, Room 103
Madison, Wisconsin

Long Range Planning Committee meeting was called to order by Chair Ruth Robarts at 6 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Carol Carstensen, Ruth Robarts, Johnny Winston, Jr.


CITIZEN MEMBERS PRESENT: Dawn Crim; Joan Eggert; Jill Jokela; Oliver Kiefer, Student Representative; Jeff Leverich; Lucy Mathiak; Pat Mooney; Lena Song; Jan Sternbach; Dr. Xa Xiong


OTHER BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Bill Clingan, Bill Keys, Juan José López

STAFF PRESENT: Jane Belmore, Mary Gulbrandsen, Kurt Kiefer, Doug Pearson, Tim Potter, Roger Price, Joe Quick, Art Rainwater, Barbara Lehman - Recording Secretary

1. Approval of Minutes

There were no minutes.

2. Public Appearances

There were no public appearances.

3. Announcements

There were no announcements.

4. Construction of a Second Elementary School on the Leopold School Site

(Packets included written information updating the Leopold Elementary project (12/2/04). A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Ms. Robarts indicated that she would like to send a letter to the Parent/Teacher Organizations in the district to notify them of the activities of the Committee for this year and about the preliminary vote to start the planning process for the second building on the Leopold site. She reminded everyone that a decision about the referendum would not be made until January. The members of the committee and advisory members were asked their permission to release their e-mail addresses and no one objected. It was clarified that the letter would give a general idea about what is coming up in terms of the possibility of referenda for the Leopold site and maintenance and all the boundary scenarios. The letter would also include a general schedule of Long Range Planning meetings and contact information for all the members.

5. Long- and Short-Term Options to Address the Overcrowded Conditions at Hawthorne School

(Packets included a written update from the Superintendent. A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Ms. Robarts put this item on the agenda to respond to people from Hawthorne who began to talk to the Board about their overcrowded situation. Mr. Winston and Ms. Carstensen met with a group at the school and shared their observations.

Mr. Winston noted that the staff at Hawthorne would like to see another addition on to their school and other creative ideas. They care about their school and have serious concerns. The pros and cons of outposting were discussed as a real option and holding a tight waiting list until next year. The presentations made by the administration were very helpful. The group appreciated having their ideas heard by the Board and the Administration.

Ms. Carstensen reported that initially there was a lot of discussion about not being able to do mobile classrooms due to the amount of city approval and the cost. The classrooms would probably not be available until the end of the year anyway and they wanted something right away. The school sent out a survey trying to get input. Feedback ranged from emotional input from teachers who are overcrowded and those in the double classrooms who thought it was good. PTO president and staff have no consensus on one direction or another.

Mr. Rainwater stated that it was left up to the school to make adjustments within the building. There is another meeting scheduled for tomorrow night for them to make these major decisions. The district did not anticipate the numbers of K-5 children per household to be as dense as what actually happened around Hawthorne.

Discussion: Could respond with some additional resources if they decide not to outpost (cost of busing would be involved). Additional resources will be allocated but will not help much. There was some question about how allocations are treated if there is outposting (allocations follow the student). The Board will receive information on the survey results, the Administration will take care of any changes in allocations, and a decision to outpost will come back to the full Board.

6. Costs of Contracting Out Maintenance and Repair Projects

(Packets included an analysis of in-house vs. contracted services (12/2/04). A copy is attached to the original of these minutes.)

Ms. Robarts had asked for a comparison of some of the district's small, medium, and large repair projects that were contracted out vs. using in-house staff. She indicated that a listening session may need to be arranged.

Mr. Price summarized the district's approach to making decisions project-by-project according to Board policy, cost comparisons, expertise, tools, availability, and the time frames, etc. He reviewed the changes in the maintenance budget.

Discussion: Trying to get to a comparison over a ten year period of how much work was contracted out then vs. today. Administration would recommend adding to in-house staff if there were a need and would add to maintenance if the referendum is approved. All projects require an in-house project manager. There is a perception that people will wonder why things are not caught up, leading to prioritization questions (safety needs), and the process for making those decisions.

Administration offered to present the in-depth process at some point.

Discussion continued: There are some antiquated fire alarm systems out there but no other safety concerns at this time. Confirmed that the updated list of maintenance projects would go out to all PTOs and is on the web site. Rearrangements are made based on critical need. How a decision to close a school (which may not be the one with the lowest enrollment) is weighed against the maintenance priorities. If there are closures, there would be no reduction in maintenance because the buildings would have to be kept up. Priority would be to not lease space around the district. Items are bumped up the list if they involve safety, a change in codes, or failing systems. Building code issues increase as the buildings themselves age. The majority of the funding goes to day-to-day things and not to large projects which is why the maintenance referendum is so critical. The estimate vs. actual cost information is on the web site. There was some discussion about the messages perceived by the public the last time there was a maintenance referendum.

There was some discussion about the failed referendum in 1997 that would have provided $8-$10 million every year forever for upkeep and maintenance of facilities. The Board then committed to increasing the operating budget for maintenance until it got to $3 million. Then a referendum passed that was limited to five years taking money as long-term debt was paid off that had to be used for maintenance. Now everything is coming out of the operating budget. The document that lists all the projects does have a score of where it is in the queue. A learning session could orient people to that document. The proposal is asking for a minimal maintenance schedule of about $11 million per year or $46 million over five years. The Blue Ribbon Panel recommendation was $55 million per year.

Ms. Robarts reported that the committee would meet again on the 20th and answer questions about the referendum proposal. Some of the advisory members suggested getting more input from users of the facilities and PTO organizations and others from the community and about the timing of it. Ms. Robarts would take that into consideration. On the 20th she indicated that the rest of this agenda will be brought back and something about next steps in terms of planning of schedules and what kinds of forums to hold. She would consider whether to televise or tape these meetings.

7. Administration's Proposal for a Maintenance Referendum


8. The Location of Reference and Resource Documents that may be used by the Long Range Planning Committee to Make Decisions about Overcrowded MMSD Schools and Declining MMSD Student Enrollment


9. Demonstration of New Boundary Planning Software


10. Process and Timelines for Requesting and Responding to Suggestions and ideas regarding MMSD Boundary Changes and Scenarios relative to Overcrowded MMSD Schools and Declining MMSD Student Enrollment


11. Other Business

There was no other business

12. Adjournment

It was moved by Carol Carstensen and seconded by Johnny Winston, Jr. to adjourn the meeting at 7:09 p.m. Motion unanimously carried.