Town Hall Meeting   May 20, 2018

Town Hall Meeting May 20, 2018


I really do appreciate your time and
before we get going I do want to turn it over to Vice Mayor Connelly to
welcome you and say a few words so the handheld mic is Cindy’s got it Hi everyone I’m Marybeth Connelly the vice mayor of Falls Church. Mayor Tarter is
out of town for his niece’s graduation today so I just want to welcome you all
to the room. Thank you for coming to this Sunday series. Is this the first time
that any of you have come to a Sunday series meeting? Are we all veterans here?
Ok so there’s lots of new stuff to learn today and I’m excited about what Dr.
Noonan and Wyatt Shields have to say so and then at the end there’ll be some
opportunities too for some engagement from you thanks Great well thank you
Vice Mayor Connolly all right do you want to say anything before you get
going? Let’s go
– All right let’s go all right well thank you very much for
coming. The idea of the sunday series of course is to share with you sort of an
update of where we are with our planning for the high school project and also for
the 10-acre project. The last couple of Sunday series we had were sort of
intermingled with budget and the project updates and the project update seemed to
sort of get short shrift with respect to the budget so we are glad to be back
and better than ever to share some information with you about what’s
happening at the high school and on the 10-acre site. I’m super excited to
announce that we have obviously gone through the RFP downselect at this point
and we have three finalists and I’ll just remind you all of who the finalists
are. They were Clark Construction and Mosley Architects. They were also Davis
Smoot Construction with Perkins Eastman Architects and lastly we had Gilbane
Construction with Stantec and Quinn Evans and right now we are in the final
parts of the RFDP downselect process which on our timeline kind of brings us
out here which is pretty significant we’ve come a long way I
think since the November 30th date when we started with the RFP for
conceptual proposals and in January went forward with the down selection of that
and put a new RFP on the street and now on May 17th the due date came and went
and all three of those finalists submitted their full project proposals
and we’re very excited to start diving into those. They’re currently being
reviewed by Jim Wise who was our procurement specialist here in the city
of Falls Church for compliance and once that’s done we will have a kickoff so
that speaks to a little bit of where we are in our timeline so we have the RFDP
kickoff for our team on May 22nd and that team is a broad representation of
folks throughout the city government and also the schools so on the team is
Wyatt Shields our city manager we also have Ross Lichtenhouse from the city
council and Shana Russell from the school board is on there as well as
myself and the principal of the high school obviously Mat Hills is on there
and then we also have our chief operating officer Kristin Michael who’s
here and our chief academic officer Lisa high is on that committee and Tim
Stevens who’s representing the ESC and also the Planning Commission is on that
team and so we’re very excited to start digging into those three final RFDPs to
take a look at and and then down select from there. On the 11th we will have our
meeting where we’ll come together and we will we’re gonna hand out
the RFPs on the 22nd to the team and then on the 11th we’ll come back
together and we will have a pretty significant conversation about where are
we what do we see in these responses and proposals what do we like what we don’t
like and then we will select either one finalist or potentially two. The idea on
that June 11th date is to try to get it down to at least one or two of the three.
From there we will move on to an interview process with the two finalists
and we will do that on June 29th and once that process is complete we
anticipate that we will have one finalist that after June 29th we will
begin negotiating a contract with for the design and build process of the new
high school so we’re very excited to kind of be in this place. Within the
next seven day seven school days we will put up on the website the redacted
versions of the proposals that the designers gave us. We asked them this
time as opposed to in the conceptual phase
for a completed copy of a redacted version so we’re gonna scan those and
put those up so as you are doing your homework and looking at what’s out there
I would invite you to go to our web page the Falls Church City Public
Schools webpage and on the right hand side it says high school construction
and everything is there from these the the streaming of these meetings the
recordings of these meetings all of the information that we’ve shared up to that
point and then the three finalists redacted versions will be there as well
so again sort of in our timeline we are- We’ve gone through qualifications. We’ve
gotten some design input over the last ten years but specifically spent a
couple of meetings prior to the conceptual phase and design phase going
out, We’ve moved now into the designing process and so what happens with us now
is once we go to that final selection and we’ve negotiated that deal with the
design-build company we anticipate developing a number of community
committees and these community committees will be based around sort of
major themes of the schools right so it’ll be for example athletics and
activities curriculum and instruction community outreach and
community use, safety and security. We’ll have some that are around transportation
so as those committees are developed we invite you to go again
to the Falls Church City Public Schools site where there is a place if you’re
interested to begin signing up for one of those committees. Marybeth Connelly
has put those out there and again we’ll send something out to the broader
community to say are you interested in participating in one of these committees
and if you are please sign up here so what will happen is once the
design-build company has been finally identified and we’ve gone through the
process from probably mid-july until almost May of next year we will do quite
a bit of communications around the design of the building with and among
the community to identify what do we like what don’t we like and how can we
improve upon what we have and we’ll talk more about that as the time goes by.
We are very fortunate in this project to really sort of introduce and celebrate
our new partner that we have to help us navigate a lot of this process over the
next several years and our new partner is Brailsford and Dunlavey.
Some of you may be familiar with Brailsford and Dunlavey. They’ve done a
lot of work in this region with school construction and as a consequence
of that we’ve asked them to come in and partner with us and be our owner’s
representative so the analogy for those of you that may not know exactly what an
owner’s rep does is we have had at the current Mount Daniel project
when we opened Mary Ellen Henderson when we’ve done the first renovation at
Mount Daniel and we also did the addition at Thomas Jefferson we had Bob
Jones from Arcadis was our representative for our owner’s
representative for all of those projects Bob has been a great asset to the school
community and in this process because of the size and scope of this
building we felt like we needed to go back out to the market to see who was
there to see who could help us with the most experience and Brailsford and
Dunleavy was the crew that came through with the most experience and with a true
team of people to help us do this work so what I’ve done is I put
some work that they’ve done up here but who better to explain what Brailsford
and Dunleavy is than someone from Brailsford and Dunleavy so I’d like to
invite Jeff Bonvecchio to come up and talk a little bit about what they do at
Brailsford and Dunleavy and also share his thoughts about the project so Jeff Thank you very much and good afternoon everyone. As Dr Noonan said Jeff Bonevecchio from
ok can you guys still hear me all right perfect
Jeff Bonevecchio from Brailsford and Dunleavy. I serve as a regional vice
president for the firm. For this project I will be serving in the the role of
project executive essentially overseeing that team that that Dr. Noonan mentioned
that we’re putting together for overseeing the George Mason High School
project. A little bit about Brailsford and Dunleavy we’ve been in business for
25 years based in the DC area and as you can see we’re just highlighting a
few of the of the work we do and really a strong
focus on k12 but also clients that are mission driven. We do not work for
private entities or developers. We work for school districts for municipalities
for colleges and universities so we are a mission driven firm that
works and helps advance these projects along. What’s highlighted up here
on the screen are the projects we’ve worked on and what’s really
important to highlight is that we’ve worked with all three if not three teams
and the six or seven designers and contractors that are associated with
these projects so we’re familiar with with how they work. We’re familiar with
the tricks they’re gonna try to play the and really you know one of our roles
aside from being a strategic partner for the school district is to make that
design-build team also a partner. We do not want an adversarial relationship.
One of our roles will be to try to make that a unified team with whoever is down
selected or finally selected I should say over the next month that
were part of this process and this is our team. As I said myself I
serve as the project executive. We do have a series of senior advisors that
have even more experience than myself that we can call on to you know
work directly with the school with Dr. Noonan and also to advise our team.
You know my background at speaking of myself and trying not to brag I’ve got
close to 20 years experience in the design and construction industry. The
past 14 years of my career I spent with the DC government doing school projects
for the DC public school system as well as I renovated 17 of the district’s 25
neighborhood libraries so I’m passionate about this work I you know
came to Brailsford and Dunlevy in order to do what I did in DC in other
parts of the mid-atlantic region and you know having Falls Church be right in our
backyard was a perfect fit. Our team is also made up of
the of the firm Hanscom Consulting. Hanscom is a true what I would call
boots-on-the-ground construction management firm. They are
going to provide the design management expertise and the construction management
expertise and that will be coming from from Brittany and we have a
cost estimator on our team that we’re able to call on. Currently we’re working
on an overall budget analysis of the of the 120 million dollar project but he
will also be able to when we pick up our our copies of the RFP or the proposals
that came in he will start doing his own detailed analysis of the cost estimates
those three firms provided so we’ll be able to to have a true back check
or a analysis of all of their pricing and as we’ve heard about the
community relations and community engagement piece of this we do have two
individuals on our team that are going to assist the Falls Church City Public Schools
with this community engagement process whether it’s in a setting like this or
through web updates or Twitter updates you know we’ve got individuals that are
committed to make sure that information is being shared you know at the right
time the right type of information in a way that everyone can understand. We
don’t want to put up on the webpage a very complex detailed construction
schedule that you know very few people are gonna know what that means we want
to be able to translate that into layman’s terms so you know what’s
going to happen when and it’s also a way to hold the entire team accountable that
if we say we’re going to start pouring concrete in you know July of 2019 you
know we’re putting them out there because we want to make that
commitment. We’ve you know we’ve set that expectation and we’re going to meet
those sort of expectations. Now you may not see myself every Sunday here but
I do Daisy Bregman who’s our our senior p.m.
will be the day-to-day you know point of contact so you will see her next month
as part of this process but again this is the Brailsford and Dunleavy and
Hanscom team. We’re thrilled to be part of this process and look forward to working
with everyone to you know to really make sure that this
once in a generational project is complete. You know one on time on budget
and to the expectations of the entire community. Thank you Jeff. We appreciate you being here. We’ve– Brailsford and Dunleavy has really jumped in with both feet already
from a variety of different perspectives The couple of people that are up here
Daisy Bregman has had a number of meetings with our staff already and are
really is really trying to dig in and understand fully what the project is.
Beth Penfield who is one of the school program personnel on the Brailsford and
Dunleavy team has met with the school folks already and gone through the whole
program at the high school. We’ve had Britney and Anu have come by and talked
to us about a number of things as well so when I say they really come as
a team truly they come as a team and I think that was one of the things that
was most exciting about them was that there wasn’t a single point
person but there was this broad team of folks that really come well prepared for
their work. They’ve also were part sponsors of our gala recently and we
thank them for that as well for jumping in and partnering with our school
foundation. What’s that? Wayyy after they were yeah yeah. It was funny we finished
contract I guess I shouldn’t tell it. I guess I can. We finished contract negotiations and we walked them out and we said here’s *unintelligible* and here’s Debbie Hesscott you need to talk to them and it was a good
walk out (no pressure) yeah right right so anyway thank you for being here Jeff we
appreciate it (question) yes sir How is an organization like them paid? Hourly? Is it fixed price? the total contract Yeah good question so
the way that we Sure the question was how is a firm like this
paid? Is it hourly? Is it as a project or is it different than that and so the way
that we negotiated our contract with Brailsford and Dunleavy was we started
out looking at the hourly rate and then we ended up looking at as a full project
so we have a one-time fixed cost for all of the work that they are
going to do and that fixed cost then will be paid for out of the bond and
typically the design-build process team process accounts for a certain
percentage of the project and we’ve met that percentage and so we
feel pretty good about that *unintelligible* No I think the contract is public. I’m not
exactly sure what the final details were so let me see if we can’t get
some information out about that that’d be helpful What role will the contract
management play in the down selecting process? Great question
so Brailsford Dunleavy has been very helpful in developing criteria based on
what we are asking for as a community and what we’ve asked for in our ed
specifications and they are helping us develop sort of rubric if you will to
help us score and look at those down selects in a very objective sort of
manner so that we can see okay does it meet first of all our educational
requirements does it meet all of the things that we’ve asked for as well and
the like and so there’s that check and then they will help us sort of navigate
and facilitate if you will sort of those conversations, They are not a voting
member They are simply there to help us
navigate and ask us I think critical questions in the process. Are you
thinking about this? Have you thought about this? Here’s a real positive here.
Not sure how this plays in what you’re trying to accomplish so they become a
partner but not a voting member alright so again Brailsford and Dunleavy we are
really glad you’re here so the last thing I wanted to share now that
sort of giving you the timeline and the like is we did do some visitations last
not this Friday but Friday before to three sites in Virginia that were
designed and built by the three down selected companies and we really felt
like it was important for us to go out and see what the final product from some
of these companies look like because we anticipate as I’ve said here before that
what we’re going to build is not your fathers or mothers or grandparents high
school. It’s going to look very different So with that in mind I did bring
some pictures and I sort of cautiously say to you I remember going to my
grandparents house on Thanksgiving when I was a little kid and my grandfather
bringing out the carousels of slides and having us all sit on the couch and
clicking through these remember chink chink
so I’ve got something like that for you today but I will try very hard not to
bore you with the gory details but I do want to say as you’re looking
at these I talked about one time I just share with you a very quick story. One
time I was with my daughter and we were observing Fashion Week and some of you
may have seen Fashion Week. It’s like there’s one in France Paris France and
there’s one in New York and during Fashion Week people come out and they
wear these extremely as I would consider avant-garde sort of outfits right and so
I looked at my daughter and I said do people really wear those outfits and she
said no nobody really wears those outfits.
The designers look at those outfits get ideas and then make new ideas from that
and so I share that with you because some of the things you’re going to see
might work in the city of Falls Church and might not. There’s no one very
particular fit that is exactly going to work for us but hopefully you’ll see
some things in these pictures that are just sort of different and
something to think about as we move forward and the other thing was I really
felt like it was important for our team to go out so that not only could they
see what they might be reading in the RFP but almost to sort of interrupt
your thinking a little bit and when I say that what I mean is that when I ask
you to picture a school in your head I think a lot of us might think about sort
of a traditional facade of a school with a lot of cinderblock walls and doors
that have a really small narrow window in it that you know you go in and then
there’s classrooms that have rows and that’s not the high school we’re
building. That’s not the high school of the future and so I asked them to come
with us to look at some of these schools so we could get some different ideas so
this is our team Little selfie there. Sorry about that I
thought it was important then this was our ride we took the little van around
and this is the first school we saw and this is Frederick County and it was a
middle school and this school was designed by Stantec. There’s a couple
of things that I want you to observe when you look at these pictures and I’ll
go through them relatively quickly because I think it’s important to give
Wyatt some time too just a little bit anyway. Some things that I hope
you’ll observe are what are some of the materials that you’re seeing what does
the landscape look like? What are some of the safety security measures that are in
place? What do the classrooms look like? What does the furniture look
like? Do the kids appear to be happy? There was one school that we
went to where there weren’t kids in so I can’t really share that with you but
this one was the first one that we saw and I would say as you’re looking at
this the first thing I hope that you’ll notice and it’s a little hard to see is
that there’s a lot of glass right There’s a lot of daylighting in this
building and it’s something that they’re very proud of and then there’s
brick block in the front and then there’s also some wood in that front
facade as well. This is a little bit closer up to see and I’ll post all these
online so you can get a look at them. Is it all right if I sit down? I’ll just do it that
way okay so here you see the front again then you go in the building and
this is from the inside looking out so the first thing I hope you’ll notice
there is again there’s a lot of glass but there is two this is like a cube that
you can’t get through so it’s a vestibule that is secure so the first
thing that happens is you come through that vestibule and you can’t go straight
into the building. You have to go into the office to check in first and
there are multiple security measures that you have to go through to do that.
Here you’ll see some of the materials are a type of of cinderblock here or a
type of block. This is a wood facade that’s here just kind of gives it some
unique architectural features that we’re looking at. This is somebody
that’s talking to us but the idea here is that this building or this room is
directly adjacent to that front hallway you go into and it looks out onto the
front of the building so let’s see there you go so that gives you a sense of what
it looks like this is the work room or the
classroom that’s associated with the media center or the library and I think
that it’s a cool multi-purpose room. The furniture that was in there can
be mixed and matched in a variety of different ways but again I think the
most important thing to sort of note in this picture is the amount of day
lighting that happens in this building and this is the front hallway so when
you walk through those double doors I had my back to this area as I was
looking out front. If I were to turn around this is what I would see. This is
the spine of the building sort of from front to back and when you turn around
this is the library. It’s the library right so if you think about what
is a library to you this is not what many people think of when they think of
a library. This to me looks like a kiosk in the mall right so you’re walking down
the mall and there in the middle of it is this library. They have
great circulation. They have kids that are working there all the time. It’s a
little bit noisy but that’s what I think media centers and libraries today should
be a little bit noisy and there are a couple of things that architecturally
really work here right so there you can walk around the outside of the library
so there’s good flow and in the back here is a monumental staircase and that
monumental staircase goes to the second floor. On the left-hand side of that
monumental staircase it’s like every other step and it’s a wooden sort of
seating amphitheater if you will and to the right are steps that go up to that
second floor. You see the high ceiling that goes all the way
to the roof deck and a dropped ceiling here that’s kind of wood with some
lights that drop down so I share that with you because that’s the
first thing that sort of is shocking when you walk in this building is that
the media center is right in the middle It’s the heart of the school if you will.
it’s right in the middle and in many ways it speaks to I think the values of
our communities particularly around the International Baccalaureate program and
inquiry. Inquiry is what we’re all about. What are the questions we’re asking? How
how do we look at ideas and learn from them? This is an area just off to
the right over in this area and I’m looking down to a hallway so again a lot
of glass a lot of sight lines a lot of visibility to kind of see different
things that you’re looking at. This is sort of standing in front of the media
center looking back this is that classroom space or
multi-purpose space that can be used for a variety of different purposes.
The other thing you’ll see here is this flooring just in terms of finishes and
materials that are interesting. This is polished concrete and polished concrete
is a very popular mode of finish now in many schools so it’s not sort of that
VCT vinyl tile that you see. It’s not terrazzo either which is really
beautiful which is very expensive but it does polish up very nicely here.
You’ll see there are a number of spaces that are breakout rooms like this off
the media center and in different hallways that are called collaboration
spaces so it’s places that kids can go in teams and work. Again no note that the
walls to that collaboration space are all glass and so the sight lines
again are really good so you can if you’re in the media center and you say
to some students I want you to go collaborate around this idea or this
project go over there they can go in that classroom and they can observe them
in that classroom and in that space. This is one of the pods so if you think
about the spine of the school if you were looking to the right this is one of
the pods that goes off to the right and here in these low walls are
the locker banks so the lockers are just really low. There are two up and
down up and down small one here one here one here one here and across and there
are four that go back. Again great sight lines. It also gives another space for
students to work. They can stand at those spots and they can work collaboratively
and then you walk back either this way or this way and you get into the
classroom spaces and when you get back here here’s what you see. This is a
classroom right all glass walls and this space out here is sort of in the middle
and it’s a collaborative space. One of the things we asked because we were
quite worried was you know what is it like in terms of
interruptions to classes when there’s glass and they said for the first week
there was a lot of kids turning around checking out what
was going on and now it’s completely normalized and the kids don’t even pay
attention. We were there taking pictures and the kids were working away in those
classes. Here again is another class looking in again a really great sight
line. As a school administrator I love being able to walk by a classroom and
see what’s happening and I can see from the middle of the hallway six different
classrooms and what’s happening in those classrooms. Again take a look at the
furniture. That’s not a regular chair Some of you have probably seen these
chairs. That’s like a wobbly chair so kids can sit on it and kind of move
around. We have a lot of kids that can use that and adults. This is the
collaborative space outside of the six classrooms. It’s the collaborative pod.
Again some very casual seating for some kids to come and kind of work in. Here
you’ll see some of the classrooms and teacher spaces. Here are some kits coming
out to do some work. Again using that glass for different purposes. They were
using it to solve mathematical equations. They were writing on it. They
kept agendas on it lots of different ways to use the space. This is a kind of
another collaborative space that’s part of the pod. Each of these
pods has a little wet area and then here’s a couple more classrooms. That’s
the collaborative breakout space so you’ll see two classrooms one here one
here and then there’s one over here and one over here and these kids come out
and they’re working all the time in this open space. This is the media center
from an aerial view and then here’s a sort of a look into the gym. You’ll see
over here is the gym through those doors so if you think about the spine going
back all the classrooms are on the right all the public spaces are on the left so
we’ve got the media- or the gym and the cafeteria on the
left and there’s that grand sort of staircase there a little bit more. This
is a another sort of typical classroom Again this is a little science lab
you’ll see. You won’t see any desks in this building. They’re all tables that
are on wheels and all the chairs are on wheels too so that we can maneuver and
negotiate space for different purposes This is a teacher workstation or work
area. This is an end unit where kids just kind of hang out and can do some work.
These are I just put this in here because I thought it was interesting. If
you look up we’ve got open to the deck ceiling and then some low
and these are would sort of acoustical pieces to keep some of the
sound down. This is looking from the second floor back so I’m standing
let me just say it this way this is the front of the building. I’m sorry that’s
not the front of a building. This is the cafeteria back here so when the kids get
their food in the cafeteria they can stay in the cafeteria or they can flow
out here and they can eat their lunches out this direction. It’s also again a
nice collaborative space. Here’s the gym In this building one of the ed specs was
they called for a fitness center and there’s a fitness center. There’s also a
yoga mat or yoga room and these folks are walking around an indoor track and
we also have in our ed specs back in indoor track as well so kids can
run around that indoor track. Here’s looking down from the top of that
monumental staircase that I talked about looking forward to the front of the
building and this is used all the time Teachers are teaching in this space and
the like and here looking in the cafeteria. This is kind of a grab-and-go
situation so it’s much more like you know you’ve got a couple of different
places you can go and grab your stuff so the lines are different. They have a
cafetorium. We’re not going to have a cafetorium but again not
one-size-fits-all and here are some more the breakouts. This is an
interesting space. This is kind of like their maker space here in the front and
in the back is where all the tools and materials are so when they’re making
things they’re doing it back there What’s kind of cool is we’re in the
hallway and so we can see all the way through back to where they’re working
with some of the materials and working with other things so again the sight
lines in the classrooms are really really quite fascinating and this is
just kind of an open space in between floors that are used for a variety of
purposes so that’s the first place. Oh there’s the monumental staircase again.
Alright this is the second school we went to. This is Colgan High School in
Prince William County. They serve about 2,200 students in this building. Again
one of the things you’ll see in this facade is a lot of glass. They have some
architectural features here that are kind of rounded. The idea here was to
kind of look at a more domed approach There’s sort of two spines that go from
front to back. One goes cafeteria gym and the other one goes cafeteria to the
auditorium and then from left to right are the classroom spaces and then on one
end is a swimming pool so try not to pay too much attention to the swimming pool.
Again this is a interior vestibule with security person here all of this glass
is ballistic glass so so that’s there as well. Here you can’t get through
left or right. The only way in is to go forward. Once you get in you look up and
you can kind of see some of those architectural dome features that are
there. There is a- this is a sort of an overlook where students can overlook the
front of the building This is looking from inside out. Again a
lot of day lighting in this building and here’s the vestibule that we’re in so
when you walk in immediately you kind of go into a cafeteria. This cafeteria is
kind of a grab-and-go as well. It’s all on the right-hand side but it’s a little
more contained so students stay in the cafeteria. It
doesn’t tend to flow out into other areas like the couple other
places we saw. This is the gym. This is a huge field house. There are three
full-size basketball courts. I share it with you just to kind of give you a
sense of what the roofline looks like It’s an open to the deck kind of
roof but again it can be split into multiple teaching spaces so these
screens come down and you can break it off in two different places. One of the
things we’re looking at in our building is part of the ED spec is our large gym
being able to divide into four spaces There’s a weight room. It was a great
picture I took it out of Matt Hills kind of staring at the weights and I thought
there’s got to be a joke in there somewhere but I preferred not to. Here’s
their swimming pool. This is the swimming pool that’s used by all Prince William
County Schools for all of their events so they are the one school in the whole
county that has a pool. They also have a public space. This is available to the
public during the day so it’s actually operated by the schools but they work in
conjunction with the Prince William County Parks and Rec Department so you
see this is they have youth programs that go there as well swim and dive. This
is the other cafeteria again kind of going through this one you get to them
to the auditorium. This is the fine and Performing Arts High School in Prince
William County so when I show you the auditorium you’re gonna be blown away
just by the sheer volume of seats that are there but this again is where all of
the big shows that happen in Prince William County happen. This is an outdoor
amphitheater. I thought this was kind of a cool feature in this school so
they can do some outdoor theater. There’s seating here that’s kind of tiered
coming back this way but it’s covered for rain. Some of the landscaping is
it’s all sustainable landscaping that they have in there
and here’s the theater. Again you’ll see the acoustical tiles up here brick all
the way through. It seats 1500 so it gives you just a sense of scope and
grandeur of this particular building. It has it convertible well anyway it’s
got really cool features. These are some of the practice rooms for the band.
Here’s the music program. It’s a single floor. It’s not a tiered band program.
We’ve gone away from those tiered programs better to have them on flat.
This is their Media Center. We couldn’t go in because it was an Sol day but here
you’ll see again that sort of domed architectural feature there. I will say
it could have been library anywhere to me not to interject too much of my own
sense but it did kind of look sort of traditional. This is a long hallway just
to give you a sense of what the corridors look like that you go into and
then this is again kind of looking out and looking into the community spaces.
This is a teacher in a teacher workroom who’s completely surprised that I took
her picture. Again some more day lighting features that they have some high
areas of light again you’ll see the lockers down here that run along the
side of the building or side of the walls and this is a sort of a fairly
traditional corridor for classrooms. This is a blurry classroom space
another teacher workroom and then this is their courtyard and this does give
sort of a public space to kind of flow out into throughout the throughout the
day. This is a unique feature of this building as well. There’s a greenhouse
and we’re standing in the greenhouse and it overlooks that. That’s
what we’re looking at looking outside so when I think about Richard Caine’s
farmbot and some of those kinds of things I think about this being a
potential space for that so that’s Colgan high school and then the last
spot we saw was Dunbar High School in the district and this– let me go
back Moseley and Clark were the architects and firm that did Colgan high
school and then Perkins Eastman is the team that did Dunbar so this is the
third of the teams that we’ve seen. Again sort of looking at Dunbar from the
outside some the things you’ll note right away are
the mixes of material. You’ll see brick you’ll see concrete you’ll see metal and
a lot of glass again a lot of day lighting. You go in that’s terrazzo tile
that’s very expensive poured material but again you’re in the
vestibule here for security. Can’t get through without going through that
vestibule and then when you do get in there’s a grand staircase that kind of
goes it opens up into a large not an auditorium but a large area that goes up
to the second floor. This is kind of looking so if you go in to the building
and look left you will see some large windows all the way at the end that
overlooks the football stadium and then if you look right then you would see
this is the cafeteria. The cafeteria is kind of wide open. Kids can grab and go
and get their food and then this is looking from front to back out towards
the street so it gives you a sense of the scope and grandeur of the school This is their swimming pool that they’ve
been able to do in their building and here is their auditorium. Their
auditorium seats 650 students which is about the size of the auditory and we’re
looking at. It’s beautiful first of all and they have two it’s two
levels so orchestra and then a balcony area. This is looking at it from
front to back. What’s interesting in here is the acoustics that Lindy’s up here
talking about and you’ll see here and the roof and on the walls are a wood
material. It’s acoustical wood and it’s really this dark lovely wood. This is the
back of the stage so if you were sitting in a seat and looked back you would be
able to see out the building and how they work this during plays and shows is
they have a black screen or a black drape that they pull that’s completely
light proof that closes it off so then you’re able to do
your theater that way. This is the wood I just took a close-up of it. Here’s their
gym a competition sized gym that you could pull some bleachers out for. Again
it overlooks the football field and it’s on the second floor just by the
way give you a sense of that and there you can see out onto the football
field but it’s a really tight space. It’s on eight acres so it’s a school that’s
built on eight acres and then we go into the media center but before we go into
the media center if you turned your body to your right you would see this space. This
is kind of an open space now. It’s meant to be kind of a gathering space for
students eventually but right now they haven’t outfitted it with any seats
or anything seating or anything like that then you get into the media center
soft casual seating for students high ceilings again the wood. These postage
stamps are famous alums from Dunbar that they are highlighting and again that
same wood that you see here kind of carries through the building so you see
it not only in the library but you see it in the auditorium and throughout the
school and then we get into the classroom spaces and this is the end so
if I walked into a doorway and looked right I would see a long hallway on the
left-hand side would be classroom traditional classrooms on the right-hand
side would be labs and directly behind me would be the administrative offices
and what you’re looking at is the administrative offices so then you look
down and on the right are the labs and on the left or the classrooms. These are
lab spaces. Again low light lots of day lighting lots of glass. This is a
traditional space for classroom again kind of low lighting lots of glass. This
is a net zero building. Colgan was not Net Zero or LEED. This is a LEED Gold or
is it gold Jeff or is a platinum platinum LEED Platinum with Net Zero. The
first school that I shared with you was Net Zero water and also LEED Gold so
these are the traditional sort of classroom spaces that you see. Those are
the photovoltaics on the roof one of the sets of photovoltaics on the roof and
then as you look out the building you’ll see this is sort of the promenade
to the football field and you come through and then the football field is
there so that was our trip. I will stop there because I’ve used up way too much
time but I wanted to share this with you because I thought it was important to
kind of get a sense for what buildings can look like as opposed to what our
buildings currently look like and with that I will turn it over to Wyatt
Shields and again I’ll post these online so you can see them Well thank you Dr.
Noonan so thank you for those.I think the slides are very interesting Maybe before you go what do you want to
get questions first? Happy to take some questions about what you just saw And if could just give me time to
bring the microphone so it gets recorded because we’re filming who has a question Yeah I’m sorry I came a little late but did you say that
these were people who have bid samples of their work Yes these are samples of the
three finalists so the first one was Stan Tech was the architect. The second
one Mosely was the architect and the last one Perkins Eastman was the architect Okay so my
other question is for the auditorium that seated 1500 do they use it for more
than the schools? Do they have it filled like every weekend ? No they do not.
In fact it’s underutilized according to some of the folks that were there. They
do use it for their big things throughout the county but for their
school purposes only it’s highly underutilized Peter Sir So of this the six teams
it’s obvious that five squares is one that’s that’s with most you know Oh you know that the
I don’t mean interrupt I’m sorry (no please) that is the ten acre site so that’s not the school site
(oh thank you) So I’ll be
discussing that part of it in just a moment Sorry about that We got a lot of
procurement happening Okay I had the privilege of
visiting Dunbar one time also and the the materials are indestructible and the
one thing you didn’t do it I did I had to go and see the bathrooms and the
materials I didnt put the bathrooms in
there but I did go see them I mean the materials in those bathrooms where you couldn’t other than
spray paint but you know it’s just fantastic but there are a lot of you
know a lot of stormwater and a lot of Dunbar geothermal yeah right right and
then the pools are the holding places out to the side we’re very very
interesting. It was just a fascinating It’s a beautiful building. It’s very
separated for public use and versus school use which is a really good idea
because they even have a clinic down there a neighborhood clinic which is
fantastic but it’s quite a place All three of them were very
beautiful in their unique ways and I think what we saw as a team was some
advantages to all of them and some disadvantages to all of them as well
but I think your point about the indestructibility is one that we want to
pay close attention to because we don’t want to build something that’s gonna
fall apart in 20 years I’m sorry I came in a
little late but I was curious about I saw in several or in the three schools
you showed the entrance vestibule where the security was but given all the
recent events too I was just curious what other security measures were taken into
place because I loved all the glass but when I saw that my heart’s kind of
skipped the beat Actually what we were yeah so there were a couple
of other security features in all the buildings that I think are really
important that I didn’t mention and one is
that there are remote ways to cordon off areas of the building so all of the
doors are magnetized to those pods so in that first one for example when you
looked at the pod there were double doors that come open. Remotely those
doors can close and are locked and nobody can get in. That can happen
throughout the building There’s also ballistic glass in a number
of the places but what we heard from all of the folks at Dunbar and at Frederick
County was that they felt safer in the glass classrooms than they did in
concrete classrooms particularly when it came to safety and security issues
because they could then make good decisions about whether to stay or
go and there’s also a lot of ways that video can capture those areas
and video will be part of our solution as well. I didn’t see that in all of the
schools but it will be part of our safety and security solution so when we
look at those live video streams that are coming in we can also turn those
over to the police immediately and they can close those doors and then we can
make decisions about what we’re going to do with those kids that are there so
that was some other things that were there. Well I will be
around after and would love to talk about the visits a little more if you’d
like so now I’ll turn it over to Wyatt So okay well thank you Dr. Noonan and so traditionally how we do this is
both of us provide a little bit of information out and then answer
questions or hear comments or concerns that you might have. What I’ll be talking
about is the financing of the school project and the economic development
piece of it which is part and parcel of the financing of the high school and for
those we raise hands at the beginning of this meeting for those who have been
part of these Sunday Series meetings from the beginning but I do see some new
faces so I’ll just hit a couple of the basic ideas of our planning that just
about everybody’s familiar with but I want to take it for granted but this is
the overview of our George Mason high school campus and
the basic idea is as we build a brand new high school and it’ll likely be in
this area of the campus that we can tap the value of this property which because
of its location right with access right to i-66
in West Falls Church Metro is highly valuable real estate. In terms of
the cost of the project and when you look at these really state-of-the-art
beautiful schools that Dr. Noonan was reviewing the feasibility study that was
done last year came to an estimated construction cost of 117 million with
financing costs a total of 120 million which was approved by the voters last
November. In just a few days on May 23rd we’ll be selling the first tranche of
bonds of 6.5 million which will pay for the architecture and engineering for the
project and then a lot of the process that I’ll be describing very briefly is
to get us ready financially for the big debt issuances for construction about
this time next year. We’re planning to finance the school with 30-year
bonds so conceptually and this is the feasibility study that was done last
year the new high school construction is going to be in this location. A buffer
zone potentially that the practice field that is here would be moved to the front
as a buffer to the economic development in a nice interface with the
economic development but what I’ll be talking about is the process for taking
this approximately 10 acres to market. We have a schedule here which lays
out sort of the schedule for the high school project which Peter has described
and this column are the key steps on the economic development side. The city
issued its request for conceptual proposals in March just several months
ago and we receive six proposals and those are the proposals that you were
referring to sir and the list of the of the proposers is on the table in the
back. Our intention is that will issue a request for detailed proposals in June.
Those will be due in August and then by the fall is when the city would select
its top-ranked economic development partner for the ten acres site and then
we have until this time next year really twelve months from now after we’ve
selected our top development partner to go through a land use approval process
which would be very public and a normal process with the Planning Commission of
all of our boards and commissions to review the conceptual development plan
approve the zoning for it and also finalize the transaction terms for the
land lease or sale of the ten acres. The city’s preference is for a long term
land lease then in June of 2019 is when we’d issue the debt for the high school.
Construction would begin immediately thereafter and the two years that it
takes for the high school to be built the economic development piece will go
through its final site plan get its building permits and it’s
anticipated that it would break ground then in 2021 after we’ve moved into the
new high school and then the old high school can be demolished so that’s the
overall schedule that we’re working through so really what this is every
step of the way is a very coordinated process between the school
administration and the school board and the general government administration and
the City Council and all the boards and commissions that inform the City Council
and its key decisions so we get together at least once a month. Right now it’s on
a monthly basis that may accelerate as we get into more decisions but to ensure
that the design scheduling financial decisions for both the school and the
economic development are coordinated so our process as I noted we’ve received
six proposals. They’re really outstanding firms that have put in proposals for the
ten acres of development. What this first step in our procurement is really is
it’s the equivalent of a for qualifications. We’ll be evaluating
these firms on their financial capacity on their experience in doing major
mixed-use projects and the quality and the feel of those projects. I think we’ll
go eventually on a tour as well before we make a final decision later this
summer after the detailed phase for the economic development
partners that we’ll be looking at. The proposals are posted on the city web
page and very little of it is confidential. They’re redacted as well
but the proposals by far you know by far and away most of the information that
they put in is public and so I encourage you to go on to the city web page and
take a look at what the market is proposing for the ten acre site. We’ll do
an evaluation through the month of May and bring to the City Council
recommendations on the top three of the six proposals for economic
development now it may end up being three or four but I think the goal is to
try to narrow it down to three potential finalists that would then go into the
detailed phase this is the selection committee and I think the main point
here is that it is broadly representative of the school board
Planning Commission Economic Development Authority City Council with staff as
well and then a very strong advisory and support team for that selection process
The request for detailed proposals we have copies of the draft of that on the
back table. We’re going to be working on finishing that draft through the end of
the month of May and into June and one of the key things we wanted to do is we
want to read through the proposals in great detail and then some of that
information will inform the final words that we put into a request for detailed
proposals but we also want public input in that draft as well. The City Council
has been very clear. They want these documents out they want people reading
them and they want people to be knowledgeable about what we’re putting
into the RFDP and want your input into it so the goal
is to issue that in June and then the proposals from the top ranked
respondents would be due in August. I’ll give an update because a lot of people
helped on this. We have really significant grants pending with the
Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and councilmember Dave
Snider is our representative on that authority. He and and many others have
been working to help us get some transportation money for the site.
Councilmember Lettie Hardy also has been spreading the word and vice mayor
Connolly so I think we’ll hear early next week in terms of what the
disposition of at least the staff recommendations are for these grants but
fifteen point seven million dollars is of what we’ve put for really to relieve
congestion at that intersection improve walkability improve access to West Falls
Church Metro improve walkability to the WNOD so they’re pretty exciting
improvements that are embedded in those grants that would be very helpful to us.
I’ll just give a note for the Sunday series this is meant to be predictable
for people that they know that these meetings are on Sundays. They are
at two o’clock and they’re always in this room because of a host of scheduling
issues our next one actually is in August on August 5th then after that
we’ll get into a more normal monthly schedule with the next one in September
23rd and then we’ll be monthly thereafter and we need to pick those
dates. I’ll just give a plug also on Thursday May 24th the environmental
sustainability council is having a panel and Cory in the back is the chairman
of the Environmental Sustainability Council but they’ve been put together
they’ve been really advising the city throughout this process on
sustainability and resiliency on the campus and Thursday will be a
continuation of that will have a series of experts that will talk about
stormwater and energy sustainability on the site. That’s at 7:30 on May 24th . Can I invite the community that’s going to go to consider an environmentally sustainable option for getting there because it’s also the same
night as our high school award ceremony so you may find parking to be at a
premium so if you can bike or walk or carpool or (that’s great) take public
transportation that’d be great So if you have comments or if you want to
see the information that’s all up on the city web page and we’ve set these put
these addresses up as well Mr. Schneider Thanks a lot
Wyatt. Thanks for the presentation and everyone here. Two quick comments could
you go back to the original calendar list because I want to emphasize one key
point and it’s an absolutely fundamental point (yeah) in May of 2019 we need to have a
legally enforceable development agreement as a precondition to issuing
the bonds (that’s right) for the construction of the school so I think
it’s very important to emphasize the critical importance of moving these two
projects along and coordinating the two The second point I wanted to make is
about the transportation element that we are working with Fairfax County to make
sure that what we do at that critical intersection serves the region Fairfax
County as well as the city of Falls Church so coordination will be very
close with Fairfax County and I just wanted to make that point but thank you
very much Thank You Mr. Snyder and Fairfax County has passed a resolution
in favor of the grant applications as well and you did a lot of work to
help make that happen but that’s really important for us in terms of getting
resources to help with some of the transportation improvements so that is
the end of the presentation of the slides that I had so I think now we’ll
just open it up to questions or comments and we would ask that you use the
microphone and ask that you just introduce yourself by name you know
before you ask your question or make a comment Wyatt John Coleman my
recollection on this goes back a while but when we acquired the land that the
school is on as part of the water sale there were some limitations on the
density of development that we could do. Do the proposals that came in and the
the plan for the school do they fall within those restrictions or are we
going to have to request different exemptions to build what we want to do? Let me modify it just a little bit because there were actually not
restrictions on the density. What there was is a agreement a
mutual agreement between Fairfax County and the City Falls Church that on the
campus seventy percent of it would be used for educational purposes for 50
years and the remaining 30 percent could be used for any lawful use that the city
sets through its own zoning process so there are no density limits on it. We are
planning to the City Council has had preliminary discussions the Planning
Commission has had some initial work and we’ll have much more work I think in the
coming weeks on the zoning for the site and what we are proposing is a modified
b2 zoning which would allow up to 15 stories on the 10 acres of the site and
there may be some discussion with the Planning Commission and the City Council
whether 15 stories is the right number and that will be done in a very
public way where the public can weigh in on what is the appropriate density but
we’ll use as you know the zoning that we’re familiar with which is the b2
zoning and it’ll be modified somewhat for the special circumstances of the
campus Wyatt could you just confirm for everyone that the school’s proposals and
those six proposals are compliant with the water sale proceed summit? Well we’ll review all of (yeah) our
plan from the beginning has been to fully comply with that agreement and and
our I would say that our coordination with Fairfax County on this has been
high we’ve had regular staff meetings there have been meetings of our elected
officials on a pretty regular basis because we want Fairfax County to know
every step of the way what it is that we’re you know every step in our process
for them to be well informed about it and avoid any kinds of surprises Sean Dakin I don’t know if this has
been covered in other meetings but I have read about additional development
through LaMotta or through Fairfax County it is happening around the same location
so I wanted to just know what our thoughts are about how that impacts our
proposal if any? Well thank you for raising (the question) it’s real important to
us so we have our neighbors here is the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech
this is about eight acres in total with a chunk of it actually under a ground
lease to the city of Falls Church this piece of the college, the university, is
actually owned by the university and then we have another approximately
fourteen acres of land owned by LaMotta and so for the past three years we’ve
been working with them encouraging them to plan their land and in their future
at the same time that we’re doing ours I think we are frankly a little bit ahead
of them these are big institutions and their
decision making process has been probably a step or two behind ours but
what LaMotta when they, when the Metro put forward a comprehensive plan
amendment that is really just a first step to engage with Fairfax County
about the future of their property and that’s going to take probably eighteen
months to go through the Fairfax County process of their evaluation of
comp plan amendment but Fairfax County has accepted it as an application to
change the comp plan and so that process will proceed. In UVA and Virginia Tech,
Virginia Tech in particular, is going through a long-range planning process
for all of its Northern Virginia properties there are three campuses in
Northern Virginia and we’re, a lot of that was really encouraged by us
to start thinking about how they want to use this property so I think there’s
more to come on that I don’t want to speak for them but that’s the sort of
the state of their planning and we have felt from the beginning that it’s really
important that we do the planning work together in our conceptual plan you know
we have roads that connect through the property we have, you know, more perviousness to the overall site than it exists today they’re on board with that
conceptually and I think in the coming weeks, (and) months, we’ll try to get a little
bit more firm on how those networks could work but that’s part of the way to
relieve congestion here at this at this intersection, and improve walkability
and just make it a more pleasant place than it is today. Can you say if any of the six
submissions more or less emphasized collaboration with LaMotta and the
universities, they, is that part of their plans that they’ve submitted to the city?
Well I will say that my review of the proposals really is just beginning so I
can’t comment on any of them individually it is in our RFP however
that you know we note the importance of our neighbors we state that we’re going
to evaluate what’s proposed on our property and rank it based on that but
we would like them to be of a mindset that thinks about how this property will
work well with our neighbors. How far off in the future can, (or) is it, when UVA and
Virginia Tech can exercise their option to purchase that land? It’s a few years
out I believe 2021 is the beginning of their ability to option, (or) to execute their
option to purchase. So when I did mention that this property exists on a land
lease with UVA and Virginia Tech, it is a land lease with an option to purchase
and so they have effective control over that property for all intents and
purposes, but we are very much a stakeholder and an interested party and
we have tried to use that, you know, for the city’s long term interest of what
happens on the ten acres as well and what happens for the, you know, the full
you know the twenty-four plus acres when it’s all added together. Its a beautiful day outside. (Laughs) Alright well we will stay if there are
any follow-up questions, but thank you very much for coming again to where I
guess this is now our fifth Sunday series and we’ll keep them going. It
is, I think, both the School Board and the City Council they are absolutely
committed. These are really big decisions and important steps we’re taking a
process and the commitment is that it’s going to be very open and very public
every step of the way and that that’s what these meetings are all about to try
to make sure people informed and we’re getting the questions comments and
concerns as we go and I just also like to say thank you for coming and
appreciate your time on such a beautiful day I know we’re not meeting again until
August but between now and August there will be some things that are going to be
happening with the RFBP for the school site so I would invite you to do,
to do go to our website our construction website and see what’s there we will be
announcing things as they happen to make sure that everybody’s in the loop and
John Brett our webmaster extraordinaire is here today and and if you have any
questions about what’s on the website he’s the one to ask so anyway thank you
all very much for coming and thank you all. (Have a) good afternoon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *