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Facility Planning

Quick Snapshot Facility Plan Recommendation

Next Steps: UCSD Facility Planning

To help keep families, staff, and community members informed, please see below for next steps below in our community facility planning process following the School Board meeting on August 14, 2017.  Also, please review the FAQs from the July 10th Board Meeting.

Next steps for Facility Planning following 8/14/17 Board Meeting:

  • Prior to the Board Meeting on 8/14/17, it was determined that the Board will need to receive a petition from our school community patrons, through the Citizens Leadership Committee (CLC), in order to make a motion on a resolution for an election/ referendum. The CLC will need to bring forth a petition with signatures from 25% of district residents who voted in the most recent election for school officials. The petition must be presented to the Board and the Board must then adopt a resolution to call the election.
  • Although the Board was not able to make a motion on a resolution to move forward with an election/referendum during the Board Meeting on 8/14/17, the Board did vote in favor of supporting the facilities plan proposed by the CLC; specifically, the Board was in favor of the following statement: “I recommend the Board support moving forward with the proposed facility plan as identified by Scenario #3 by the CLC with the intent to set the referendum amount at $65 million dollars for the two major projects: 1) new elementary school on the Olmsted site, and 2) new elementary on the Valerius site.” Please review the entire CLC presentation here for more information about the recommendation.
  • The architectural design and planning of two new elementary schools will go through the Request For Proposal (RFP) open-bid process. It is anticipated that the Board will receive proposals/presentations prior to the Board Meeting on September 25, 2017, in order to consider making a motion to move forward selecting an architecture firm.
  • DLR is the architect of record for all previously approved PPEL projects, including the high school fitness/wellness center.

We will continue to provide updates and invite you to learn more about the community facility planning process throughout the 2017–2018 school year.

Next Steps Following July 10, 2017 School Board Meeting

During the July 10th School Board meeting, members of the Citizens’ Leadership Committee presented a recommendation for the Board to consider moving forward with ‘scenario 3’ as it received the strongest quantitative and qualitative community support across multiple community engagement meetings. As a reminder, ‘scenario 3’ consists of the construction of two new 4-section elementary schools (where the current Olmsted and Valerius schools are located) with pre-k located at all four elementary buildings, the retirement of Jensen, Olmsted, Rolling Green and Valerius, and provides resources for completion of work at the middle school and high school—including the construction of a wellness center. (The year-round school would eventually be located at Karen Acres.)

In order to move forward with this recommendation, it would ultimately take public approval of a referendum. Please review the entire presentation here for more information about the recommendation.

Upon receiving the recommendation, the School Board decided to conduct a due diligence process with the goal of confirming specific answers to questions in order for the Board to consider making a motion to vote on moving forward, or not, with the recommendation during the August Board Meeting. This due diligence process will consist of the following three meetings:

  1. 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 17, 2017: Financial discussion with Piper Jaffray. Located at the UCSD Administrative Office, 11152 Aurora Avenue.
  2. 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2017: Special Session Board Meeting to provide answers to questions posed by the Board following the July 10 Board meeting. Located at the Urbandale High School Media Center (enter through media center doors).
    Director Questions July 2017
    FAQs_July 2017
  3. 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 14, 2017: Regularly scheduled School Board meeting at which time the Board may choose to make a motion to vote on the facility plan recommendation. Located at Urbandale City Hall.

All three meetings are open to the public and we encourage you to attend as a way to learn more about the recommendation for our facilities and perhaps learn answers to questions that you may have as well. These meetings are an important part of this process and we commend the Board on their leadership and determination for ensuring our district implements the strongest plan for our schools.

Background Overview: Facility Planning

The initial stages of the Urbandale Community School District Facility Planning process began with research leading up to a Special Election in February 2015, where 80% of district residents made their voices heard by voting to pass the Physical Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL). The PPEL will enable the district to remodel, build, update, and/or enhance buildings and facilities. Following the approval of the PPEL, Karen Acres Elementary was the first building to undergo facility improvements throughout the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. In September 2016, Karen Acres Elementary held a ‘ribbon cutting’ ceremony to celebrate the completion of their new construction and remodel which included: reconfiguring the building to improve safety and security, remodeling classrooms to better support learning, and adding a new gymnasium.

From October 2016 through January 2017, the district conducted further research through an in-depth analysis of current data and information regarding the effectiveness and viability of our facilities. Part of this data analysis process involved a Qualified Learning Environment Outcomes (QLEO) Analysis through a partnership with BLDD Architects. A QLEO Analysis assessed the district’s existing physical and functional needs, visualized possible planning approaches, and completed a cost-benefit analysis. Through this analysis, we gained a deeper understanding for how our facilities are performing in regard to constraints and needs, educational programming, educational adequacy, functional needs and available resources, while also considering fiscal capacity, changing demographics and staff and parental input.

All Urbandale Community School District residents are invited to participate in a community planning process that has reviewed existing facility usage data combined with best practices for creating 21st century learning environments in order to determine the most comprehensive plan for designing future ready schools throughout our district. Please review the UCSD Facility Planning Timeline for an overview of all meetings and activities taking place between February and July 2017 in support of facility planning.

If you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share about the facility planning process, please reach out to our district communications manager, Dena Soenke, and she will help facilitate answers for you and/or connect you with the best person to receive your feedback.

Previous Community Engagement Sessions: Agendas & Presentations

Plan on attending the following three Community Engagement Sessions:

Meeting #1: Discovery: Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at Urbandale Middle School Commons (lunchroom**Note: Location has changed to Urbandale Middle School**

Agendas: English Community Engagement Session 1 Discovery Agenda ; Spanish_Community Engagement Session 1 Discovery Agenda ; Bosnian_Community Engagement Session 1 Discovery Agenda

Presentation: UCSD Community Engagement Session 1 Discovery_4.06.17

Minutes: CES #1 Meeting Minutes 4.06.17

Meeting #2: Building Solutions: Thursday, May 18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at Urbandale High School Media Center (enter through Media Center doors)

Agendas: English_Community Engagement Session 2 Agenda May 18 2017Bosnian_Community Engagement Session 2 Agenda May 18 2017Spanish_Community Engagement Session 2 Agenda May 18 2017

Presentation: UCSD Community Engagement Session 2 Building Solutions_5.18.17

Meeting #3: Options Forum: Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Urbandale High School Media Center (enter through Media Center doors)

Agendas: English_Community Engagement Session 3_June 8 2017Spanish_Community Engagement Session 3 Agenda_June 8 2017Bosnian_Community Engagement Session 3 Agenda_June 8 2017

Presentation: UCSD Community Engagement Session 3 Options Forum_6.08.17

Citizens' Leadership Committee

The Citizens’ Leadership Committee is made up of Urbandale parents, staff, and community members who live in the Urbandale Community School District. The CLC has three main responsibilities:

  1. Meet together throughout the Facility Planning process to assess input from stakeholders and data collected at each building.
  2. Evaluate the data collected to determine if the existing facilities plan remains the strongest plan for the future or whether a stronger plan exists.
  3. Make facility planning recommendations to the Board of Education for Board consideration.

Please review the Detailed Role and Responsibilities of the CLC for more information about this important committee.

To become a committee member, individuals are required to attend as many school meetings, CLC meetings, and CES meetings as possible. The need to miss several meetings would not preclude you from becoming a member, but the more meetings CLC members attend the more continuity we’ll have throughout our feedback gathering, data analysis, and decision-making process.

CLC meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at the Urbandale High School Media Center unless otherwise noted:

  • Meeting #1 February 16, 2017
  • Meeting #2 March 23, 2017
  • Meeting #3 April 20, 2017 (held at the Urbandale Administrative Office 11152 Aurora Ave)
  • Meeting #4 May 10, 2017 (held at the Urbandale Administrative Office 11152 Aurora Ave)
  • Meeting #5 May 23, 2017
  • Meeting #6 June 22, 2017
  • July 10, 2017: CLC Facility Plan recommendation to UCSD School Board; Board meeting location is at the UHS Media Center 6:30 p.m.)

If you would like to become a member of the Citizens’ Leadership Committee, please email Julie Mitchell by Monday, March 20, 2017. Thank you.

Previous School Meetings: Agendas & Presentations

Plan on attending a School Meeting at your child’s school:

Presentation: Rolling Green Facility Planning

Presentation: Webster Facility Planning


Presentation: Jensen Facility Planning

Presentation: Olmsted Facility Planning


Presentation:  Karen Acres Facility Planning

Presentation: Valerius Facility Planning