NSD favors firm for new facilities master plan

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The Newhall School District governing board is moving forward with SIM-PBK as the possible architecture firm in charge of developing the district’s newest facility master plan.

Board members heard from three finalist firms Wednesday night, and afterward selected SIM-PBK at their quote of approximately $198,000 to develop the new plan.

Outside of SIM-PBK, WLC Architects, Inc. and Little Diversified Architectural Consulting were the two other firms considered, but with the support of all five trustees, the board decided on SIM-PBK, who in their eyes, had an understanding of what the district was looking for.

“A facilities master plan is a general or strategic plan that serves as a roadmap for the school district and community to see what kind of work will need to be done to maintain our schools, modernizes our schools and can dictate the need for future schools,” said board President Suzan Solomon. “What it will do is give us a hard look at the infrastructures of each school — the air conditioning, heating, lighting, all the unattractive things.”

Solomon added that the plan would then give them an opportunity to look at the building structures themselves on the interior and the exterior.

“It’s everything you want to know about your school buildings and then some,” she said.

Solomon said that typically a master plan is usually a five- to 10-year plan, but anything after 10 years is not expected out of the plan because of changes in technology and design.

“A really good one will benefit you for the next five to 10 years,” said Solomon. “In Newhall, we want to look at what our needs are, and then prioritize what those needs are.”

Solomon said the district is expecting matching-bond money from the state, and new bond money coming in from a state facilities bond in the coming years.

“This gets us ready for that,” said Solomon. “And then at some point, we might have to look at another community bond. So, that just gets us ready to project out what we’re going to need.”

Solomon said the board Tuesday night gave the district assistant superintendent direction to contact SIM-PBK and see what the work with them would really look like, beginning negotiations.

“No contract was assigned, approved and they weren’t officially hired,” said Solomon. “(District) staff was just given direction to contact SIM-PBK to see what it would really cost, what services we would really need that was provided in their materials and negotiate the price.”

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