11-09-2012 School Board Facility Workshop


The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met in special workshop on Friday, November 9, 2012, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Florida Today newspaper on Friday, November 2, 2012. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Excercises


Chairman Dr. Barbara called the Facility Workshop of November 9, 2012 to order at 1:04 p.m.


Roll Call
2. Roll Call

Minutes: Members Present: Dr. Michael Krupp, Dr. Barbara Murray, Amy Kneessy, Karen Henderson, Andy Ziegler

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance


Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray shared information with the Board regarding Board/ Superintendent roles during "crisis" decisions and planning.  She noted that the text she is refering to is out-of-print but had been distributed by the National School Boards Association.  Dr. Murray stated that the text clearly states that during challenging times, it is critical for the Board to unite and step back to allow the Superintendent to do his/her job.  She noted that the Board as a group that has evolved into a cohesive and effective team and has developed a reputation for thoughtful decisions in the past.  Dr. Murray noted that during any team activity, it is imperative that the team stay united and understand that any individual interest is not only inappropriate but must be set aside to prevent any breakdown of working toward our common goal.  Dr. Murray stated that we have an extraordinary Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian Binggeli, and he has an excellent staff who are more than capable of formulating decisions drawn from data and experience. She cautioned the Board that they must let the staff do their work and refrain from any interference that could cause distraction and delay.  Chairman Dr. Murray stated that when the Board makes decisions and take their votes, we cannot hesitate or waiver, as such will cause confusion and uncertainty. She noted that the Board must be steadfast but compassionate with our decisions.

Dr. Murray noted that she spoke with the parental leadership group and explained the Board's charge.  She emphasized that once elected, the Board is bound by law to serve the Brevard community in its entirety not just the community into which they were elected.  She noted that the Board's role is to serve all students within the constraints of the districts financial ability. 

In closing, Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray requested that individual Board members reflect before speaking, making requests, and providing input to ensure that such reflects proper Boardmanship and supports the Superintendent and his staff.  We must represent a united Board that, as always, makes decisions in what is best for the Brevard children.

Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray noted that the purpose of the meeting was to get a report from Dane Theodore, Assistant Superintendent of Facilities, to update the Board on our facility needs. 

Order of Business
4. General Facilities Data
Attachment: November 9 2012 Workshop Presentation.pdf
Minutes: Mr. Theodore updated the Board on the general facilities data.
5. Board Priorities for Capital Outlay

Minutes: Mr. Theodore reviewed the Board Priorities for Capital Outlay.  He explained the renewal requirements, current assessment, and renewal prioritization (see attached presentation).
6. Capital Funding

Minutes: Mr. Theodore reviewed the Capital Funding for Facilities, Capital Funding vs. Need, Capital Projects and School Impact Fees (see attached presentation).
7. Planning

Minutes: Ken Klindt, Director of Planning and Project Management, covered the Facility Planning portion of the presentation which included: Student Projections, Capacity Utilization, Utilization Projections, FISH Capacity vs. Program Capacity, and Relocatable Classroom Data.  Mr. Klindt turned the meeting back over to Mr. Theodore and Dr. Brian T. Binggeli, Superintendent of Schools.
8. Proposed School Closing


Dr. Binggeli spoke about the tremendous challenges that our district is facing, as outlined by Mr. Theodore.  He noted that we have spent the last several months explaining to the community that the district would have to solve the financial burdens the district is facing by the half-cent sales tax failing or by closing schools.  The reason for these changes is cost effectiveness.  Dr. Binggeli noted that there are three areas that stand out in the Capacity Utilization map that stand out for having capacity.  He stated, with that in mind, we recommend the closure of three schools for the 2013-14 School year.  Dr. Binggeli stated that as part of a lot of deliberation, we looked at where capacity was, the age and facility size, maintenance needs are, where the students where located.  He also recommended that we close Sea Park Elementary.  Dr. Binggeli and the staff are also recommending that Gardendale Elementary, South Lake Elementary, and Clearlake Middle School for closure.

Dr. Binggeli stated the purpose of today's workshop is to notifying the Board that this will be the recommendation coming for at the November 20, 2013 School Board meeting.  He noted that at a later date the maps, charts, and data will be brought to the Board as well as the boundary changes that would address the closings of these particular schools.  Dr. Binggeli stated that in the Board Agenda packet for the November 20, 2012 School Board meeting, you will have all of the proposed staff recommended changes.  He shared with the Board the scheduled timeline for the potential school closings. 

Ms. Kneessy questioned whether the Board would get a list on how the buildings would be re-purposed.  She noted that the Board will be getting those questions from the community on whether the buildings will be shuttered or used for other programs.  Dr. Binggeli mentioned that discussions have already begun as it relates to re-purposing these facilities.

Dr. Binggeli turned the meeting over to Vicki Mace, Director of School Choice.


9. Charter Schools
Attachment: Charter School Update 11 9 2012.pdf
Attachment: Terms of Contract Charter Schools.pdf
Attachment: Historical Analysis of Charter Schools.pdf
Attachment: Student Membership Analysis for Charter Schools.pdf

Ms. Mace went over the following information in her presentation (see attached):

  • Brevard County Charter School Historical Analysis
  • Student Membership for Charter Schools
  • Charter School Projections (Determined by District)
  • New Charter Schools and their Proposed Student Projections
  • Imagine Schools at West Melbourne - Update
  • High Performing Charter Schools

Dr. Murray informed the Board that she was contacted by the Board Chairman of the Viera Charter School to fast track their application.  She told him that as the Chairman, she would bring it to the Board although she was not in support of fast tracking the  application process.  Dr. Murray asked what was the pleasure of the Board.  Mr. Ziegler asked what the timeframe for the application.  Dr. Murray stated that the Board Chairman of Viera Charter School claims to have documentation as to why this application should be fast tracked but when the district asked for the documentation, none was produced.  Dr. Murray informed the Board that she was told that she was on their ground-breaking agenda as a speaker and she declined.  She noted that she did not feel that it was appropriate to use her as an endorsement for them.   The Board agreed to continue the application process that is done for all the other application.

10. Board Questions and Discussion


Chairman Dr. Murray asked Mr. Theodore about the vacant property on Grissom Parkway.  Mr. Theodore stated that we have sixteen vacant properties. The property on Grissom Parkway in the Port St. John area is 63 acres with a recent market value range of $125,000 to $150,000.  He noted that the land is environmentally impacted; 25 acres are wetlands and approximately 16 acres of scrub jays and there is about 22 acres of buildable property.  Mr. Theodore informed the Board that they were approached by a company called KLD Inc. who serves at risk children. They gave Harold Bistline, School Board Attorney, a proposed lease to build an educational complex on the land. The lease terms would be a dollar a year for 20-25 years.  Mr. Theodore explained to the Board that we would not need the site within the next 20-25 years.

Mr. Bistline stated that he has not received the proposed lease at this time.   Mr. Theodore stated that he received the proposed lease and was under the impression that Mr. Bistline had as well.

Mr. Ziegler commented if this was common practice to lease land for a dollar a year.  Mr. Bistline stated that there is only one other time prior to Dr. Sawyer's time and the Board had the ability to terminate the lease within a years notice.    Mr. Ziegler stated his concerns about having to purchase the land at the improved value at the end of the lease.

Dr. Krupp stated his concern about the market value at the end of the 20 year lease.  His major concern is what is being built on the property and can the School district make use of it after 20 years.

Ms. Kneessy noted that she has seen the plan and that this is a community outreach program.  She noted that KLD is looking at a program that is agriculturally based and the facility would be self-sustaining. She encouraged the Board to have a conversation with Kevin Deaton at KLD, to see what their vision is for this land.

Dr. Murray stated that her only reservation is to take on anything that will create a potential financial obligation for us over the next 100 years.  She asked if this is a property that the School District that we need to keep.

Mr. Theodore stated that given our financial situation and our use for this land that the Board consider declaring it surplus and selling the land to KLD for its proposed value.  He stated that his recommendation is if they are interesting in the property then we should offer it for sale.

The Board discussed the various options and gave the direction for Dr. Binggeli and Mr. Bistline to work out the options to bring back to the Board.

Chairman Dr. Murray mentioned to the Board that direction needs to be given to the Superintendent as it relates to cell towers.

Mr. Ziegler stated that Mr. Ralph Perron who brought the cell tower information to the Board, just assume put it on his property if the Board is going to dispose of this thought.

The Board directed the Superintendent not to go further as it relates to the cell towers due to the concerns about risk and there is enough going on with the potential of school closures.

Ms. Henderson questioned if the Board approved the transfers of debt serves as it relates to the Impact Fees.  Mr. Theodore stated that the Board approved the use of Impact Fees for two additions, at Williams Elementary and Suntree Elementary. He stated that it was currently on the five year plan which allowed the use of Impact Fees.

Discussion ensued about the Impact Fees and building plans for the Viera Company that will effect our schools. Ms. Henderson pointed out that we may want to save the monies for additions.

Mr. Bistline stated the reason that the district is receiving Impact Fees is because State law requires DRIs that donate get Impact Fees to pay themselves back.

Dr. Murray went back to the schedule on the school closing to discuss when community input would occur.  She clarified the following schedule for the community:

  • Board will receive staff recommendation for the potential school closings at the School Board meeting of November 22, 2012.
  • Board will receive community input at the School Board meeting of December 11, 2012.
  • At the School Board meeting of January 22, 2013 there will be a Public Hearing as well as Board taking action to either approve or not approve the recommendations for the school closures.

Discussion ensued about the types of meetings and communication that would occur at the school level.  Dr. Murray recommended, as suggested in the National School Boards Association (NSBA) that the Board step back and allow the Superintendent, Principals, and other staff to step in.  Dr. Binggeli noted that he called the principals at the four schools so they did not find out that there schools have been chosen for potential closure by the media. There has been discussion regarding the communication efforts that will be for the communities and for the external stake holders.

Closing Remarks
11. Closing Remarks

Minutes: There were no closing remarks.

12. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray adjourned the School Board Facility Workshop of November 9, 2012 at 2:20 p.m.