Building leaders describe program possibilities under 2016 capital project

2016 Capital Project

On Monday, March 7, elementary and secondary principals at Broadalbin-Perth spoke to Board of Education members and approximately 25 members of the community about the types of programs that the district would be able to offer if residents approve a capital project on Tuesday, May 17.

“The school facilities we would have as the result of this capital project would open up a world of possibilities for our academic program,” said Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson. “And with the efficiencies we would create by having all of our elementary students and faculty together, and all of our secondary students and faculty together, we’d be able to expand our program offerings without adding to our annual operating expenditures.”

Elementary programs

The capital project plans include reorganizing the district to create a pre-K through grade 6 elementary school at the Perth campus, which currently includes students in grades 3-8. During Monday’s presentation, The Learning Community Principal Bradley Strait and B-P Intermediate School Principal Daniel Casey primarily spoke about the importance to future program development of three common areas proposed for the renovated B-P Elementary School: the media center, performance space, and innovation wing.

The media center, which would be located near the renovated building’s main entrance, would be a school-wide hub for not only reading but also technology-based learning, student presentations, student research, peer tutoring, learning through music and art, distance learning, independent study and community service.

The performance space, which would be situated to use the existing stage in the middle school gymnasium, would be used multiple times each week for TEAM Time and Community Connections, the character education programs of the current TLC and intermediate school, respectively. The performance space would also host elementary concerts and drama productions, parent orientations and information sessions, celebrations and moving-up ceremonies, open houses, spelling bees, and other school events. School and community organizations, such as the PTO, scouting groups and Odyssey of the Mind, would also have opportunities to use the performance space. Architects are designing the elementary performance space to seat as many as 550 people; in comparison, the seating capacity of the Margaret Robin Blowers Auditorium is approximately 850.

The Innovation Wing, which would be located on the same level as the cafeteria, would be a learning center for art, science, and technology-based learning, such as coding, programming, engineering and robotics. It would provide a space for many possible elementary programs, such as journalism, video production and streaming, graphic and web design, creative drawing, and an elementary drama program. The Innovation Wing would feature learning tools and technology to support a variety of enrichment and extracurricular programs, including Think Tank (previously ESP), FIRST Junior Lego League and Lego Robotics teams, and Future Cities teams.

Secondary programs

The plans to reorganize the district that are part of the capital project include creating a grades 7-12 middle/high school at the Broadalbin campus, which currently includes students in pre-K through grade 2 and grades 9-12. During Monday’s presentation, B-P Middle School Principal Wayne Bell and B-P High School Principal Mark Brooks spoke about how the renovations included in the capital project would create more real-world, hands-on learning experiences for students.

The renovated secondary school would support more opportunities for students to cultivate their career-readiness skills. The tentative plans include spaces for a student-run café, which would be an offshoot of the culinary arts program, and a student-run bank, which would be operated in partnership with a local bank and their professionals. The proposed media center would also house a media and journalism program, through which students could develop and produce newscasts, videos, audio recordings and a school newspaper. The tentative plans also include a space for a student-run information technology help desk, a program the high school is piloting this spring.

Next steps

The board is scheduled to adopt the final capital project proposal during its regular meeting starting at 6 p.m., Monday, March 21, in the high school Virtual AP room. Broadalbin-Perth will hold public forums on the capital project at 6 p.m., Monday, March 28 and Tuesday, April 19, both in the Virtual AP room. Residents will also have the opportunity to learn about the capital project during the annual budget hearing at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 10, in the Margaret Robin Blowers Auditorium.

Qualified residents will vote on the capital project proposal during the annual school budget vote and board elections on Tuesday, May 17. For detailed voting information, visit www.bpcsd.org, click on the Capital Project icon, and choose “Voting Information” from the list of links.

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