History and Background

The district’s Facilities Project began in 2010 as a multi-year, three-phase study to examine the need for additional facilities to accommodate projected enrollment growth. This study resulted in the development of a Master Facilities Plan in 2010, which is reviewed and updated annually. The most recent phase of this study began in 2014-2015.

The facilities planning process included the involvement of hundreds of community members, parents and staff members in the study, design, planning, and phasing of projects. The initial phase of the study resulted in the construction of classroom additions at Northpoint and Park Terrace, established the Spanish Immersion School at Woodcrest, and included necessary ongoing maintenance projects to protect past community investments in facilities.

At the beginning of phase two of the facilities project, the school board developed a Guiding Change document to provide direction for the facilities study and planning. As part of the document, the board outlined the desired results of the planning process, which included:

The options created will:

  • Identify long-term facility options that will effectively manage current and future enrollment trends, meeting early learning needs and ultimately a projected K-12 enrollment of up to 6,500 students
  • Provide flexible learning spaces that create conditions for staff to enhance student engagement and meet their individual and varied learning needs
  • Provide flexibility in educational programming with the ability to adapt as necessary to emerging influences and changing conditions
  • Identify structures and options that are viable, utilize fiscal and human resources effectively and position the district for programmatic effectiveness and fiscal health in the future

Learn more about the history and background of facilities in SLP

Increases in Student Enrollment

The student enrollment in Spring Lake Park Schools continues to grow. From 2005-2006 to 2014-2015, enrollment in the district grew by more than 1,000 students. For most years, the number of kindergarten students entering the district has been larger than the number of seniors leaving the system. For example, there were 328 grade 12 students in 2011-2012 who were replaced by 488 kindergarten students in 2012-2013. The larger kindergarten classes moving through the system represents the most significant reason for the district’s enrollment growth.

Enrollment projections indicated that the district’s student enrollment would continue to increase for the next 10 years. The enrollment projections were updated in fall 2014 in a study conducted by Reinhardt Consulting. The most conservative projections show the district’s enrollment increasing to about 6,500 students by the 2024-2025 school year. The district’s enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year is about 5,800 students.

Community Facilities Design Team

In spring 2015, the school board established the Community Facilities Design Team to assist in the process of identifying future facility needs for the district. The design team was formed to assist district administration in identifying options to accommodate projected enrollment growth and to create flexible learning spaces to support staff in meeting varying student needs and interests. The Design Team was comprised of 70 community members, parents, business leaders, and staff, and met for nearly 30 hours over five meetings. The Design Team’s work resulted in the updated Master Facilities and Programming Plan and facilities principles that were used both in developing the 2016 bond proposal and in the design of resulting facilities projects. The following are the design principles developed by the Design Team:

Spring Lake Park Schools is committed to:

  • Encouraging collaboration and innovations in learning and teaching
  • Being flexible to meet the varying needs and learning styles
  • Creating an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for ALL
  • Fostering community partnerships
  • stablishing fiscal responsibility and environmental sustainability

2016 Bond Referendum

The $49.925 million bond referendum was overwhelmingly approved by district residents in April 2016. Specifically, the facilities projects to be completed with funding from the bond referendum included:

  • Construction of a new preK-4 elementary school
  • Remodel existing spaces at SLPHS to create more classrooms, remodel the media center and construct additional science classrooms
  • Remodel early learning office space at Woodcrest into K-5 classrooms
  • Construct early learning classrooms to meet growing interest and demand
  • Renovate existing spaces at all schools for STEM programming
  • Renovate existing spaces at SLPHS and Westwood for Career and Technical Education programming

In addition, work continues on implementing additional innovative learning spaces throughout the district.

Facilities for Future Programming Design Team

Once the referendum was approved, the facilities planning work shifted to planning and designing the new and renovated spaces. During summer 2016, several groups met throughout the summer to assist in the facilities planning process. The Administrative Oversight Team that included district administrators, architects and construction consultants began meeting in May 2016 and has accomplished the following:

  • Organized the Facilities for Future Programming Design Team
  • Developed the design process and structure to guide the facilities planning process
  • Developed the implementation timeline to guide the phasing of construction projects, both from bond funds and other funding sources
  • The Facilities for Future Programming Design team began its work in mid-June and concluded in early August 2016. The Design Team was composed of teachers and staff from all district schools, as well as parent representatives. The Design Team met five times and accomplished the following:
  • Learned and studied about emerging influences in education, particularly on facilities and learning environments
  • Spent two days touring school facilities in other districts and talking to others to learn what is happening in other districts
  • Developed desired results aligned with the facility principles developed by the Community Facilities Design Team

Facilities Principles

The following are the facilities principles – developed by the Community Facilities Design Team – with the desired results, which were developed by the Facilities for Future Programming Design Team:

Design Principle #1: Spring Lake Park Schools is committed to encouraging collaboration and innovations in learning and teaching

Desired Results

  • The design group will create environments where learning is visible, creating connections between learning spaces to foster collaboration among staff as well as students, and putting learning on display
  • The design group will create environments that provide necessary infrastructure and that support the dynamic use of technology

Design Principle #2: Spring Lake Park Schools is committed to being flexible to meet varying needs and learning styles

Desired Results

  • The design group will create learning environments that are flexible for varying sizes of groups and needs
  • The design group will create learning environments that are designed to provide for a variety of student experiences
  • The design group will create learning environments that are adaptable to emerging influences and changing conditions in the future

Design Principle #3: Spring Lake Park Schools is committed to creating an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for ALL

Desired Results

  • The design group will create environments where students can feel part of a community and create social connections through flexible, multipurpose and shared spaces
  • The design group will maximize access to natural light throughout the building that is appropriate to the functions of each space
  • The design group will create spaces that open opportunities for student independence and investment that balance safety and security in a dynamic and exciting environment

Design Principle #4: Spring Lake Park Schools is committed to fostering community partnerships

Design Principle #5: Spring Lake Park Schools is committed to establishing fiscal responsibility and environmental sustainability