Feasibility, Enrollment, & Attendance Area Study
Throughout August, September and early October 2018, our Hempfield School District administration and the Board of School Directors discussed a proposed attendance area realignment. In November 2018, the school board voted to stop work on the initial proposal and began discussing the option of hiring a third-party consultant to review both current enrollment numbers and attendance areas. This would be done in conjunction with a feasibility study to review current facility conditions and examine potential long-term facility needs. Because of these discussions, a Request for Proposal was published.
Eight companies submitted proposals for consideration of a Feasibility, Enrollment, and Attendance Area Study. Discussions surrounding this topic continued in various public meetings, and the number of companies in consideration was narrowed. School board members and district administrators then interviewed three consultants at the public Buildings & Grounds Committee Meeting in January 2019.
A feasibility study evaluates the physical condition of each of the district’s facilities as well as its ability to meet current and planned educational program needs and enrollment projections. As part of the physical building reviews, it includes a description of the useful life of mechanical components, such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roofing, and food service equipment. The study will develop options and general costs to address facility needs.
An enrollment study provides an overview of the school district enrollment that considers factors such as birth rates, enrollment trends, and housing projections. The study will provide two sets of ten-year enrollment projections for each building and grade level.
An attendance area study analyzes current capacity and enrollment projections, taking into account the geographic density of students, proximity to schools, transportation efficiencies, and the facility’s ability to provide consistent educational spaces needed for students. The initial recommendation will develop optimal attendance area recommendations at the elementary and middle school levels based on the ten-year enrollment projections.
Firms & Consultants
As a result of the RFP and in-person interviews, Hempfield administrators and school board members accepted the proposal from Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates Architects to conduct the district’s feasibility study. At the February 12 school board meeting, the board approved the proposal for a total cost of $7,500 plus reimbursable expenses. To support this feasibility study, Crabtree Rohrbaugh proposed three consultants who will work alongside them, including Moore Engineering, ELA Group, and Barry Isett & Associates.
In connection with the feasibility study, our school board also voted to authorize an agreement with DecisionInsite. This company will research and provide independent, 10-year enrollment projections and also attendance area recommendations for grades kindergarten through eight. Any recommendations from DecisionInsite that are accepted by both administration and approved by the school board, would be implemented during the 2020-21 school year. The cost for this service is not to exceed $14,313. There may be additional costs such as hourly fees for consultants to provide additional attendance area options and also travel expenses, depending on the scope of future requests and in-person participation at future meetings.