Parent & Guardian Annual Notice
How Did We Get Here?
The planning process was to have started in spring 2020. In early March 2020, the Tipton Community School District hired OPN Architects to conduct a thorough assessment and analysis of our existing facilities and site and work with the district to gain a deeper understanding of our priorities and needs. Like most events last year, our original timeline had to be modified. The project kicked off in April 2020 with several virtual meetings and while the schools were closed for teaching and learning, the architects and engineers took advantage of the empty buildings to assess our facilities including mechanical systems.
As part of the process, in August 2020, the district convened a Facilities Advisory Committee made up of parents, staff, community members, business owners, students, and school board members. This group was tasked with setting priorities that ultimately shaped a long-range facility plan that balances needs and wants with available funding.
The committee realized early on that the district would not be able to afford a new high school. 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.
The committee resolved to find a solution that focused on these specific deficiencies at the high school:
Improved student climate
Commons and Collaboration Spaces
Improved ADA, Lighting, HVAC
The plan presented to the board on March 10, 2021 went through multiple iterations before the committee arrived at a consensus around a solution that includes all of their overall goals.
skeleton key lock
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How was the community engaged in this process?
Our goal throughout this entire process has been to engage our community of parents, staff, students, and Tipton residents – in the conversation.
The proposal, which the board formally endorsed in a unanimous vote, is the result of nearly a year of planning by the district and the 26-person facility advisory committee, which included parents, staff, business owners, and members of the agriculture community.
Early in the process, OPN Architects conducted listening sessions with Tipton staff. Additionally, the larger community was invited to tour the high school in October. Staff comments and community input gathered before and after the tours along with the results of the facility assessments all framed the facility committee’s conversations around the best solution for our school facilities.
The group generated a list of priorities, which were discussed as a group and assisted them in building consensus around top priorities that ultimately informed the architect’s design concepts and formed the committee’s recommendations to the school board.
It is critical that our process continues to be transparent. The input from listening sessions and surveys has been invaluable. The facilities community has been instrumental. In the weeks leading up to the election, the district will continue to communicate details about the process, plan, and vote to the community. This will include both in-person and virtual opportunities for the community to discuss the plan and answer questions.