The dust has not yet settled, but among the clouds some results of the Centralia School District’s recent brainstorming sessions regarding its future direction are becoming discernable.
The results sound positive.
The facilities committee, for example, has giving the go-ahead for the district to begin interviewing architects.
Stephen Chancellor, superintendent of the Centralia R-VI School District, discussed the committee’s deliberations.
“It was fun to see a group of people come together for the district’s common good and agree on the concept of ‘we need progress, but not progress for progress’s sake.’ It was very rooted in ‘what’s best for our kids and what will ultimately be best for our community.’”
He said one of the committee’s primary concepts is the need for a district-wide, long range plan for its buildings and campuses.
“One of the main themes to emerge from the group was our desperate need to have a long-range master facilities plan,” he said. “In other words, under perfect conditions, what would be the ideal makeup, what a campus would look like, what a group of campuses would look like. And then we would have a road map for moving forward… The thing that was universally recognized, is that our plans can change. If we don’t have a vision for a long-term future, then making decisions on a case-by-case basis may lead to nowhere.”
One of the exciting parts of the process, Chancellor said, has been interviewing five architects.
“One of the key elements we have been looking for is how do we find a partner that can under our community, understand our students, and key, understand our vision for what a does a product of the Centralia School District look like, not just five years from today, but 15 years from today, 25 years from today.”
Once that vision is mapped out, he said it “can be chunked into phases and scale them into things that make sense from a financial standpoint and from a strategic standpoint.”
The five interviews are ongoing he said.
He said finding firms with understanding of school finance and law, “experience working in the field of education is something I have been looking for.” Ready access and the ability for open dialogue are also important as well as successful working relationships with contracting firms, owners and records of success.
He said another major point involved Centralia High School.
For the full article see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard