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Approve Proposition S for a New North High School

Francis Howell North High School opened in 1981 as Henderson Middle School. In the decades that followed, there were six additional phases with no single master plan guiding the placement of additions. The result is a building structure that presents challenges for appropriate supervision of students and creates potential student and staff safety issues.

FHN has a variety of roof structures and HVAC systems serving all of those different areas. The ceiling leaks despite our best efforts to continually patch the different roof surfaces and the building has mold problems that have been mitigated multiple times Many other major systems, like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical, have reached the end of their useful life and are so old that it is now difficult to find spare parts when systems break down. On at least one occasion, we have had to resort to using eBay to find the necessary spare parts.

Some people have asked about renovating the current building. In commercial construction, the cost per square foot for renovating an existing structure is more expensive than the cost of new construction. The truth is, repairing the existing structure would cost more than $40 million and displace students for 3-4 years - and it‘s likely that the maintenance costs would still continue to increase and issues, like ceiling leaks due to adjoining roof structures, would continue to pose problems. A new high school can be built on the southwest part of the current property while students still use the old school. 

The plan is to build a new comprehensive high school that is comparable to the other high schools in the District. The new North would have flexible learning spaces that would help to create a collaborative learning environment. The new school would be a secure and student-friendly facility that will promote academic excellence and active engagement for every student and staff member.

Paid for by Citizens for Francis Howell
Stephen Johnson, Treasurer
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