In late March, MISD embarked on what will ultimately be a one-year process to create a vision for the future of school facilities in our district.
The district started by enlisting OPN Architects to help us build on an earlier facility assessment done by Estes Construction and work with the Marion community to gain a deeper understanding of our priorities and needs to create a solution we could take back to voters.
As part of the process, this summer, the district convened a Facilities Advisory Committee made up of parents, staff, community members, business owners, students, and school board members. This was tasked with setting priorities that would ultimately shape a long-range facility plan that balances needs and wants with available funding. Using the result of OPN’s assessments, analysis of both current and future needs, and community input, the committee reviewed all scenarios proposed by the design team and arrived at a long-term solution that addressed the most immediate needs of the district’s aging facilities, while also looking to the future needs.
How was the community involved?
Our goal throughout this entire process has been to engage our community of parents, staff, students, and Marion residents – in the conversation.
We started with a staff survey and listening sessions open to all district staff members in May and June. The feedback offered during these sessions was some of the first information the Facilities Advisory Committee – which includes community, staff, and students – received during their first meeting this summer.
Additionally, in lieu of face to face tours during COVID, OPN developed a virtual facility tour and related priority/needs survey, both of which were sent to all MISD families via email. Both were also posted on social media. In one week, more than 900 users viewed the tour nearly 1,500 times. The average time spent on the site was nearly five minutes. The survey was completed by 524 community members.
The feedback from the survey was part of the qualitative data the facilities committee used to frame their conversation around the best solution for our school facilities.