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Citizens for Francis Howell

Citizens for Francis Howell is working to support the Francis Howell School District bond issue on the June 2, 2020 ballot. Proposition S is a no tax rate increase bond issue.Voter approval of Proposition S would allow the District to borrow money now and in the future to address pressing facility needs at all Francis Howell schools.


Prop S Turns into Teachable Moment About the Trades

Posted on 09/23/2020
Fairmount students observe trailer project

With the 2020-21 school year well underway, the daily operations of the Francis Howell School District also continue on. This includes progress on districtwide improvements that are possible through the passage of Proposition S. Approved by voters in June 2020, Prop S provided $244 million of bond money to address pressing facilities needs at all Francis Howell schools. All Prop S projects are detailed in the Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan and will be completed over the course of the next six years.

Fairmount student takes notesLarger Prop S projects (like the new Francis Howell North High School and updates to security vestibules) have entered into planning phases, and a handful of smaller projects have already been completed (track resurfacing at Hollenbeck Middle and parking lot repairs at Warren Elementary). Some projects, like Fairmount Elementary’s new portable trailer, are currently taking place.

“Not only does Prop S allow for much needed updates to FHSD facilities, but it also provides unique opportunities to enhance learning opportunities for students,” said Director of Facilities and Operations John Klein. “COVID may have limited our abilities to do field trips for the moment, but it doesn’t mean that learning opportunities outside the classroom cannot still happen.”

Fairmount student takes notes

Typically, a portable trailer would be delivered, installed, and ready to go before the beginning of the school year. Delivery and installation were pushed back due to delays outside of FHSD’s control. This bump in the schedule turned into a teaching moment about the trades for some elementary students.

“Seven of our junior Falcon engineers had the opportunity to observe and report on the new portable classroom being installed,” said Administrative Intern Eric Eubank. “Our junior engineers reported back to their classroom with the notes that they took.”

Outfitted in their very own Fairmount safety vests and hats, students were invited to watch as the construction crew lined up the first half of the trailer, operated heavy equipment, and slowly eased the piece into place over concrete blocks.

Fairmount student observes the trailer project

“It was one of the coolest things I have seen,” said David S.

Another student, D’Andre W., said, “It was very cool to watch them use the tools to work and move the portable trailers.”

Cruise W. thought that “it was so awesome to represent my class and go back and report.”

This experience also provided students with a close-up view of tradespeople in action.

“Students were exposed to examples of how math, science, English, and engineering all played into making this process work smoothly,” said Klein. “The Facilities and Operations Team looks forward to more opportunities as we progress through Prop S projects, to expose more of our students to the trades and experiential learning outside the classroom.”

As many trade workers reach retirement age, more opportunities have opened up for students seeking an alternative to college. Skilled trade work has become increasingly popular for graduating FHSD students. Opening students’ minds to the possibility of the trades early on ensures that all students can find a suitable career path after their time in the hallways of FHSD.

    

News

Sunday, November 28, 2021 11:28 AM

Prop S Construction Update


Revised cost projections for the Francis Howell North project were presented to the Board by SM Wilson, the District's construction manager. Due to an unprecedented increase in material and labor costs, construction of the new Francis Howell North project will require $164.7M. This is considerably higher than the original project budget of $83.5M estimated in 2018 as part of the Prop S planning. The Board and Administration, with input from the Facilities Committee and members of the community, must now consider the ramifications of this revised cost projection and determine how to move forward in the most fiscally responsible way.
 
The Board will hold a special work session at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7 to consider options for the Francis Howell North project and ask additional questions of Administration and SM Wilson.
 
The Board invites FHSD staff, students and residents to come together as we grapple with this unfortunate news and determine how to move forward with North and the additional Prop S projects that may be impacted.
 
Special Board meetings and work sessions do not typically include patron comments, but given the magnitude of this decision, the Board will designate a 30-minute period for patron comments during the Dec. 7 meeting; patron comments must be related to Prop S and the Francis Howell North construction project. Additionally, patrons are encouraged to email Board members with questions, concerns and comments prior to the work session so that all voices can be heard.
 
No votes or Board action regarding the Francis Howell North project will take place until the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Dec. 16.
dd your news summary here.


Thursday, November 4, 2021 11:11 AM

Prop S Projects Impacted by COVID-Related Delays and Cost Increases

Prop S projects continue to be impacted by ongoing challenges facing the construction industry, including high demand, labor shortages, inflationary material costs and COVID-related delays in the steel and aluminum industries, which affect project timelines and budgets.
 
The District’s facilities advisory committee – made up of staff, parents and community stakeholders – has been proactively re-evaluating projects, with the goal of providing the greatest possible value for the District at the lowest possible cost in a difficult market. It is possible that some Prop S projects will need to be delayed, reconfigured or reprioritized in response to rising costs and supply shortages.
 
Four additional security vestibule projects at Barnwell, Francis Howell Middle, Independence, and John Weldon were completed over fall break, and construction on the new Francis Howell North is moving along well. The Guaranteed Maximum Price, or GMP, for the Francis Howell North project will be presented at a Board meeting in the near future. It is expected to come in higher than previously expected for the reasons noted above concerning the construction industry.
 
View the latest Construction Update presented to the Board of Education and follow along with Prop S progress at fhsdschools.org/props.


Friday, October 22, 2021 2:48 PM

October Prop S Update

Prop S - Project Manager Jeremy Boettler gave a Prop S update, again reiterating ongoing challenges facing the construction industry, including high demand, labor shortages, inflationary material costs and COVID-related delays in the steel and aluminum industries, which impact project timelines and budgets. Boettler also shared that the facilities advisory committee has been proactively re-evaluating and prioritizing projects, with the goal of providing the greatest possible value for the District at the lowest possible cost in a difficult market.

Boettler said four additional security vestibule projects are scheduled for completion over fall break and construction on the new Francis Howell North is moving along well. The Guaranteed Maximum Price, or GMP, for the Francis Howell North project will be presented at a Board meeting in the near future. It is expected to come in higher than previously expected for the reasons noted above concerning the construction industry.


Saturday, August 21, 2021 1:53 PM

Prop S August Update

PROP S: District-wide improvements continue to take shape thanks to the $244 million bond issue passed by voters last summer to make our facilities safer for students and staff.
 
A number of projects were completed this summer, including:
  • FHN/Henderson’s entry drive was expanded to separate construction traffic from school traffic as part of the progress on the new Francis Howell North High School
  • FHC and Saeger’s parking lots were repaved
  • Track and parking lot replacement/renovations were completed at Bryan Middle
  • Major systems (HVAC, Boiler Loop, Electrical) were replaced at Becky-David, along with new paint, lighting and floors
While much progress has been made, Prop S work continues to be impacted by inflationary costs and manufacturing delays in the construction industry – both of which impact project budgets and timelines. As one example, security vestibule projects around the District have been impacted by COVID-related material delays in the steel and aluminum industries. Without the necessary interior and exterior doors required to complete the vestibules, some schools – including Bryan and Saeger middle schools – will start the school year with a temporary secure entrance.
 
The District Facilities Committee continues to monitor costs and material delays and make adjustments to Prop S plans where necessary. Stay informed about Prop S projects at fhsdschools.org/props.


Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:02 AM

Groundbreaking Held for New Francis Howell North, Prop S Website Launched

Check the Prop S page on the FH District website for frequent updates on construction progress and expenses


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