Fairport Forward 2022 FAQ

What are the themes of Fairport Forward 2022 Phase II?

There are three themes embedded in this capital improvement project:

  • Merging ninth grade with Fairport High School

  • Consolidating District buildings

  • Protecting the investment in our facilities by updating infrastructure

Why is Fairport Forward a phased project?

A phased-approach is necessary for the care and upkeep of our facilities; it has been a consistent community and Board of Education priority.

The multi-phase plan that our voters approved in 2019 is designed to address the major needs of our District facilities - some of those needs have gone unmet for many years. In order to get the District to a more predictable schedule of capital improvement projects, this multi-phase plan allows the District to transition to a more consistent, cost-effective long-range facilities plan and maintain infrastructure in an intentional and sustainable manner. This approach will help the district manage the long term financial impact of facility improvements.

Why is the capital project vote held in December and not in May with the annual budget vote?

New York State education law requires that school districts present a separate proposition for capital improvement projects. In addition, capital projects draw on a different funding stream at the state level (state building aid) than the annual school budget. We also are proposing the use of existing capital building reserve dollars as indicated in the proposition resolution.

Districts may - and sometimes do - have capital project propositions on the same ballot (separate proposition) as the annual school budget in May. However, capital project planning and development play a large role in determining a voter referendum date. Fall/winter vote dates factor in the time needed for design work, state education submission and review, bidding, and construction. Voting in December gives construction crews much-needed time to complete work across multiple summers while school is not in session. This reduces disruption to our programming during the school year.

If approved, when will the $59/year for $200k home value appear on my tax bill?

It is projected that taxpayers would see this impact begin in the 2025-26 fiscal year.

How much will this affect my taxes?

The proposed Fairport Forward 2022 Phase II Capital Improvement Project is estimated to cost $62.25 million. If the capital improvement project is approved, the District will fund the project with $19.2 million from its Capital Building Reserve Funds and $43.05 million of issued principal in long-term debt. Long-term debt principal and interest payments are projected to begin in the 2025-26 fiscal year. After factoring in capital reserve monies and state building aid (80.2%), the estimated tax impact of the project for a property assessed at $200,000 is $59 per year. Such impact is for a period of fifteen (15) years during which the debt is paid and state building aid is received.

What is the timeline for the merger of the ninth graders at Minerva DeLand into the Fairport High School facility?

The FCSD Board of Education passed a resolution in May 2019 making the merger of our ninth-grade class into Fairport High School a District priority. Fairport Forward 2022 continues the work begun in Fairport Forward 2019 to stage the high school to receive those students. If the referendum is approved, ninth graders will begin at Fairport High School in the 2026-2027 school year. Those students are the 2022-2023 school year’s fifth graders.

How are we going to fit four grades and teachers into FHS when there's already very limited space, and what if enrollment increases?

The possibilities for expanded classrooms and creative spaces in Fairport High School that are part of FF 2022 will stage the school for the 2026 arrival of our ninth grade students. We are using classroom spaces differently than in the past, and our programming has changed as well, so the increased space outlined in FF 2022 (including the STEAM addition, the reconfigured library and re-organized classrooms on the second floor) will be put to use when the ninth grade class returns.

The District continues to engage in enrollment studies. Projection studies confirm that enrollment numbers will remain stable over the coming years, with between 400 and 450 students per graduating class. Enrollment studies project out five years due to available data. However, we do anticipate the enrollments to level out in the future beyond 2026-27. There may be slight fluctuations up or down any given year due to historical trends. (See table, right)

In previous years, there were more students enrolled at FHS - why does Fairport High School need more classrooms for fewer enrolled students?

The District’s continued dedication to supporting students in a growing number of fields has reduced the number of available classrooms, including in the core academic areas. Bringing ninth-grade students back to the building necessitates one to two additional classrooms in each department. The 2019 Fairport Forward Capital Improvement Project addresses needs in the science department and in the cafeteria; however, there are needs remaining in other core and elective areas. The addition of five STEAM-dedicated classrooms will address the addition of the ninth- grade students and also aligns FHS’ technology and engineering programs with modern curriculum and standards.

Some of the mitigating factors requiring additional space in order to welcome ninth-graders FHS includes:

  1. Special Education - The growth of Special Education levels of support have expanded from most restrictive (12:1:4) to special class (12:1:1) and integrated co-teaching. The special education department has grown to be the second largest department with 15 teachers.

  2. English as a New Language Program - Part 154 regulations regarding English Language Learners have also impacted the FHS footprint. With an influx of ELL students and an increased mandate for services, the school also requires additional dedicated space to support this program.

  3. Mental Health Services - Supporting the social emotional needs of our students is a priority for the District. FHS currently uses significant space for a growing mental health staff including three social workers and three school psychologists. There is also a dedicated space for counseling which also houses the Strong (UR) Behavioral Health Clinic.

  4. Alternate Education Program - This program was not a resource for FHS in the building’s original footprint, and now currently utilizes space to support students with significant school avoidance behaviors.

  5. Safety and Security - New standards for safety and security have significantly impacted the FHS footprint. The need to develop a secure single point of entry required the reduction of three general education classrooms.

  6. STEAM Programming Spaces - The building’s facilities do not support the modern STEAM and technology education classes offered by the District. Current programming, including classes in electronics, engineering and robotics do not align with the building’s antiquated facilities.

Updated STEAM facilities/classrooms will support the following programs:

  • Information Technology (SUPA)

  • Computer Game Design

  • Web Design (SUPA)

  • Woodworking

  • Design and Build

  • Production of Film

  • Consumer Auto

  • Small Gas Engines

  • Auto Service & Repair

  • Vocational Auto

  • Electronics

  • Design and Draw for Production

  • Production Drawing CAD/CAM

  • Principles of Engineering

  • Pre-Engineering (MST)

  • Robotics Technology

  • Architecture

  • Digital Media Art

  • Morning Show Production

When will the development of instructional spaces across the District occur? What about our elementary schools?

The proposal for Fairport Forward 2022 includes some nominal work at our elementary and middle schools. The multi-phased approach of Fairport Forward creates a roadmap to updating and upgrading all of Fairport’s facilities. As noted, the top priority of Fairport Forward 2022 (Phase II) is to prepare the Fairport High School facility for the unification of ninth grade with the rest of our high school students. The District anticipates addressing additional identified capital improvement work at our elementary (ES) and middle schools (MS) in future projects.

Attached is a summary of recent elementary school improvements, including work still to come as part of Fairport Forward Phase I

How will the administration support staff and students once MD merges into FHS?

The administration will be developing a transition plan to provide social-emotional, mental health and academic support for students who are part of this exciting move. Pending approval of the capital improvement project this December, the district anticipates the school merger in the fall of the 2026-2027 school year. The District will invite FHS and MD staff, as well as parents and students to participate in the planning process.

What will the staff workroom situation in FHS look like?

Designing and creating collaborative workspaces was part of Fairport Foward’s 2019 Phase I project; as a result, professional workspaces are connected to the new cafeteria.

The consolidation of existing workrooms into classroom space in order to house our ninth grade classes will alter the existing workspace configuration at FHS. If Fairport Forward 2022 (FF 2022) is approved, FHS staff will be part of the planning and design stages of the project related to professional workrooms with the new configuration.

What is the District’s plan for upgrading HVAC systems and installing AC?

Through capital project planning, the district prioritizes capital improvement needs within project budgets, while taking into account available Capital Reserve dollars, NYS building aid and the potential tax impact. In order to manage the overall tax impact of FF 2022, air conditioning is not included in the project.

We recognize that upgrading and expanding air conditioning and ventilation systems in our facilities is a school community priority. The District is committed to increasing the number of spaces that are air conditioned inside our buildings as new projects are developed, and as older spaces are renovated. However, during the bidding/construction process, the project budget will be analyzed to determine feasibility of adding or preparing for future HVAC work.

What happens when we consolidate buildings? How will we be fiscally responsible with the space we have and also let go of space we no longer need?

All phases of the Fairport Forward project were developed with fiscal responsibility and building consolidation in mind. FF 2022 will culminate in the transition of students from Minerva DeLand to Fairport High School; this will allow MD to be occupied by our administrative offices located now at Baumer Place. The plan is to sell Baumer and re-distribute the administrative teams to offices at Martha Brown and Minerva DeLand.

There is no plan to sell Minerva DeLand, which is a community asset and resource that will continue to be used by students, staff and community members in a variety of ways. In Phase 3 of FF, the District plans to reconstruct space at MD to house district office staff from W. Church Street in order to sell the district office building.