Neenan Company talks school facilities plan updates

“We have lots of work to do,” said Holyoke School Superintendent Kyle Stumpf after a conference call with the Neenan group regarding the district’s master facility plan during the Nov. 5 Board of Education meeting.

Strategic plan options were part of the conversation. “You need to look at your long-term goals, then the steps to get there will kind of line up,” said Neenan Archistruction’s senior architect David Kurtz during the call.

The master plan update was compiled in July after the Neenan group spent time in the district in April and looked at four rough options in brainstorming sessions with the board and community.

Citing Section 4 of the master facilities plan, Kurtz said long-term decisions on how the school district could be organized are key. The main decision is whether to look at one K-12 facility or remain separate buildings.

For now, a new K-12 is not in the priority list, but it potentially remains as part of a long-term vision for the district.

In strategizing Building Excellent Schools Today grant funding, board member Dusty Sprague cited the need to look at the financial approaches and timing of making grant applications.

With regard to the 50-year-old elementary school building, Kurtz said it has a fairly low score by the current state assessment for core buildings, meaning it is in good shape.

However, he pointed out that every year that score will increase because every piece of infrastructure gets older and older. “Because of the age of the elementary school, I think you have an opportunity to make a case for grant funding to help replace the building,” said Kurtz.

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