July 20, 2016

Three Keys to Gaining Community Support for School Referendums

1. Space Needs as Driven by Your Educational Program

Many school districts in the United States are facing facility challenges which impair their ability to provide quality educational programs to students. The most prevalent problem is the overcrowding of classrooms and facilities. Although the majority of overcrowding is seen in inner city school districts, there are other areas in the Midwest which face the same issue as well, such as North Dakota.

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When facilities become overcrowded, it is difficult for students to learn and teachers to teach. Some school districts are using portable classrooms and leasing other facilities in order to provide enough space for students, which creates parking problems, safety concerns, pressure on core facilities like kitchens and restrooms, and increases operating costs.

2. Condition and Expected Useful Life of Existing Facilities

Many Schools are outdated and reaching the end of their expected useful life. The need for building assessments has become crucial, in order to plan for capital maintenance needs, and evaluate whether it makes sense to keep investing in aging facilities.. According to the US Department of Education, “Many school systems, particularly those in urban and high-poverty areas, are plagued by decaying buildings that threaten the health, safety, and learning opportunities of students.” Several studies show there is a significant relationship between school building conditions and student achievement and behavior. In fact, students tend to score lower on standardized tests in schools which have poor facilities than those who don’t.

3. Community Listening and Determining What They Will Support

Community listening is essential when making local decisions, especially those involving tax payer dollars to fund educational projects. Consolidated Construction thrives on a 7 habits culture, which drives us to reach consensus. We believe that success is achieved through the desire to first listen while seeking to understand the other person’s point of view. We start with a Community listening process in order to gain an understanding of their needs, then tailor design and construction solutions towards what the Community supports.

Visit our Education Page for more information.

Jim Perras_2014 Jim Perras is a Principal with Consolidated Construction, and has successfully delivered over $900 million worth of projects in 8 states throughout his 30 year career. Jim was the first Certified Construction Manager (CCM) in the State of Wisconsin. He plays a leadership role in project planning, specializing in industrial, non-profit, church, and educational, clients. To contact Jim directly, call: 920-450-7397.