ad hoc City Hall Advisory Committee
June 21, 2017
Methodist Church, 175 North Main 1:30 p.m.
Committee Members: Finklea, Kenefick, Miller, Nickels, Pearce, Shaw, Thalden
Staff: Black, Fleury, Hanks, Karns, Morrison, Seltzer
Absent: Boldt, Dichiro, Kramer, Richards
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: Pearce chaired the meeting in Dichiro’s absence. Pearce called the meeting to order and introduced Jordan Ely, Director of Finance and Operations for Ashland School District.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
MOTION by Thalden, second by Finklea to approve the Minutes of the June 7, 2017 ad hoc City Hall Advisory Committee meeting. Carried unanimously by a quorum of the committee.
REPORT BY JORDAN ELY: The committee members were sent a 2005 Facility and Capacity Assessment Report and a Seismic Evaluation of Briscoe School which had been completed for the Ashland School District by Dull Olson Weekes Architects. The committee was also sent an updated Engineering report on Briscoe completed since the 2005 assessment.
Jordan Ely, Director of Finance and Operations for Ashland School District, reported that the Ashland School District is planning to ask the voters of Ashland on the November 28 election ballot to approve a bond levy rate for major renovations of the school facilities. Part of that process is evaluating all of the school district’s facilities. Ely stated that with a reasonable bond sale, the school district realizes that it cannot do everything needed so they are hoping to continue the current bond levy rate that is in place now and scale back the scope of what they plan to do. It would be a new bond sale. Ely said that brings the school district to the point of needing to do an assessment of the Briscoe and Lincoln properties because they are inactive as schools. Ely added that with open student enrollment, there is a window to come to the
Ashland School District and that makes up 10% of the population of students. If not renewed, that open enrollment window will sunset in 2019 and the school district would move into a declining enrollment situation. If renewed, the current enrollment would remain stable. Briscoe is not part of the school district school system and unlikely to be within the scope of a public education entity in the future. Briscoe will not serve in that capacity any longer. The school district has talked about using Lincoln as an interim school while interim renovations are done in other school buildings, or moving the school district administrative offices to the old Lincoln building. Either way, Lincoln is likely to be used by the school district in the future. The school district does not see Briscoe as part of their future so Ely told the committee that the preference of the school district is that Briscoe become a City building. The school district does not see the ability to continue Briscoe as an asset, but they would like it to remain a public property. Ely said they would like to transfer the asset in exchange for relief from some permitting process fees. Kenefick asked if there were price estimates on the assessment that had been completed. Ely said he would send the cost estimates to the committee. Ely said that cost estimates should be redone through the lens of a City building. He added that the cost estimates are from 2006. The school district has been working with DSC and ORW but all of the cost estimates are for the school district reopening Briscoe as a school. DSC says their market analysis costs have increased 60-100% from 2006 – 2017 and the cost was $9-10 million dollars for the school district to invest to make Briscoe an educational facility. If the school district felt that they needed more capacity at the elementary level, it would make more sense to do a major renovation or a rebuild of Walker Elementary in lieu of Briscoe. Ely noted the cost to rebuild Briscoe as a school, not including any demolition, is estimated at $200-$225 per square feet. In 2006 the cost for a seismic retrofit of Briscoe was $1.9 million. He does not know what the seismic retrofit cost would be today. He thinks $165 per square foot is the approximate rate for a “commercial/office building”. Briscoe’s total square footage is 33,980.
TOUR OF BRISCOE: The group then took a tour of the Briscoe building.
DISCUSSION: The committee reconvened after the Briscoe tour. Ely said that if the committee was interested in the Briscoe facility but not as a sale, that the school district would like to enter into a discussion. He suggested that the school would be willing to donate the building to the City in lieu of the City charging ASD for fees associated with building improvements such as permits. Ely said that $68-80 million dollars in bond proceeds is anticipated. Seltzer asked what is the city losing if there was some sort of exchange? Ely said that the revenue is not revenue budgeted by the school district yet and the community knows that all funds that go into the bond sale are for the schools. Ely recommended talking to Dichiro, since she was aware there were public concerns in the past over how much money went from the bond to the City. Karns asked what percentage of sales go towards capital projects and not just maintenance. Ely responded that capital improvements needed would exceed the amount of the bond levy if they were replacing Walker,
buildings at the high school and transportation and other buildings. Karns wondered what percentage would be drawing on plan engineering.
Pearce asked if the school district was going to have an updated seismic estimate. Ely responded that the work has been split into three pieces: A Facility Condition Assessment, a Seismic Assessment and the Long Range Planning that ORW is doing for the school district. He added that the State was willing to invest some money. Ely added that if you eliminated the Arts Wing at Briscoe, and look at the square footage needs of the City, you would address the parking and space needs for the City. He added that when the committee received the updated 2005-2006 data, the cost estimates were multiplied by a multiplying factor and are not new cost estimates by a firm. He will send the spreadsheet to Seltzer to distribute to the committee members.
Kathol could not attend the last meeting but said she noticed that committee members had asked to see aerial maps with a footprint of the buildings being considered, so she brought them to the meeting. Kathol said she would also email them to the committee members. Kathol said that as parking costs had been discussed at the last meeting, she had gone through the Parking Management Plan and that Surface Lot costs were $5000-$7000 per stall; Structure Above Ground costs were $20,000-$25,000 per stall; and Underground parking costs were $35,000-$45,000 per stall.
Seltzer said that ORW had asked if Dana Crawford could speak to the committee about the methodology they used to determine space needs and so Crawford will be here at the next meeting on July 5. Shaw asked about The Grove utilization because during the tour, it looked like there was a lot of empty space. Black, the Parks Director, said he could send a report of the Grove utilization.
Pearce said that the committee will be getting into criteria soon and that staff has done a lot and he suggested looking at Kathol’s initial report from the April 26 meeting as well as the ORW Feasibility Report. The group then discussed moving the July 5 meeting, but after discussion, it was decided to leave the next committee meeting on July 5 at 1:30pm at the Library in the Methodist Church. Kenefick asked that the committee send a formal thank you to the Methodist Church for allowing the committee to use the Library meeting room at the church. Seltzer will follow up. Fleury said that when the committee comes to developing criteria, you decide what a priority is and that each priority then has weighting.
Pearce adjourned the meeting at 2:25 P.M.
Shelly D. Hensarling