BuildBPS was anchored by the establishment of five advisory committees, convened to collect and analyze data, examine challenges and opportunities, compile findings, and provide guidance to the overall initiative.
These committees met regularly, from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, and consisted of representatives from the Mayor’s Office and other City departments; BPS administrators, faculty, and students; partner organizations; parents and other community members; and expert consultants in relevant fields.
This committee was tasked with assisting the district in refining its priorities and plans for teaching and learning in the years ahead, and envisioning the facility and spatial features that will promote effective instruction. It assisted in identifying BPS’s educational priorities and explored how school facilities can support the district’s pedagogical approaches to ensure that they are designed and equipped for innovative, 21st century teaching and learning. Committee members heard presentations and participated in discussions on numerous topics, including Universal Design for Learning, grade configurations and feeder patterns, digital learning, collaborative spaces, and expansion options for early childhood education, special education and related services, athletics, and food services.
This committee was tasked with developing analyses of the distribution and growth (or decline) of school-age populations in the City of Boston by neighborhood, race, and grade level. It worked closely with BPS, the City of Boston, and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), to develop enrollment projections that will be used to estimate the district’s space needs over the next 10 years. Members reviewed current student population numbers, historical enrollment patterns, and anticipated changes in housing patterns in Boston, to analyze where school-age children are likely to live over the coming decade. This information will be used to inform school siting and feeder-pattern strategies for different parts of the City.
This committee was tasked with documenting existing school conditions and schools’ capacity to house various educational programs. Led by architects, engineers, and educational planners from SMMA and its subcontractors, and in partnership with each school’s principal, it conducted both facilities and educational-adequacy assessments. Facilities assessments inventoried building layout and conditions. Educational assessments documented the adequacy of spaces for the educational programs offered in each building. These assessments focused only on the building, the site, and the effectiveness of the building as an educational facility. They did not attempt to evaluate school performance in terms of student outcomes or quality of teaching and learning.
This team was tasked with gathering perspectives and feedback from BPS staff, students, parents, and other stakeholders about the present and future state of Boston’s educational facilities. In addition to developing a multilingual survey and hosting public events, the team met regularly to develop and launch a broad range of communications tools and strategies, geared toward increasing public awareness about and involvement in BuildBPS.
This committee was tasked with conducting an analysis of long-term building maintenance, modernization, and new-building construction costs; and exploring financing strategies to generate revenue for repair, upgrade, and new-building projects. It investigated potential capital costs associated with an undertaking as large as BuildBPS. Additionally, members explored options for financing potential projects, to ensure that any proposed construction or renovation is within the City’s financial capability. Financing options explored include issuing city bonds, leveraging current Massachusetts School Building Authority funding streams, proposing multiple project packages with the MSBA, identifying potential dedicated revenue sources in the City budget, and developing new public-private partnerships.