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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul


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Glossary of Terms

FMP Glossary of Terms

1. Aggregate capacity is the total capacity of a group of schools in a pathway and/or attendance area.

2. Capacity (also called Target Design Enrollment), when referenced to school facilities, encompass the number of students and staff that can be accommodated within a school based on current instructional practices and student-to-teacher ratios. 

3. Current Replacement Value (CRV) is the amount needed to rebuild a facility based on the market value of materials and labor costs at a particular point in time.

4. Deferred Maintenance is the practice of postponing the upkeep and repair of buildings and grounds until funding is secured, e.g., replacing roofs and boilers.

5. Demographics are statistics characterizing a human population such as age, race, ethnicity, and gender.

6. Design Process: To ensure a school’s remodeling is completed as efficiently as possible, the following steps are taken to fully determine the scope, budget, and timeline of the project:

  • The pre-design phase is the process that deepens the knowledge and specificity of the conceptual, baseline work scopes for building improvement from the master planning phase in order to produce a more robust design phase that accounts for broader and deeper aspects of the facility conditions and parameters. Working with building staff, families and students, Facilities Department project managers and consultant architects explore and define how a building is used or needs to be used into the future. Gaining a solid understanding of how the building and grounds have to serve the evolving teaching and learning needs of the school is critical for providing responsive updates such as flexible learning spaces, while anticipating the unforeseen, such as technological advances. This work is complemented with a thorough investigation of the building’s facility infrastructure and systems to account for any complications such as the discovery of asbestos; soil contamination left by the previous land owners; or systemic problems with old plumbing. Based on this more detailed information, the initial project work scope and budgets are updated.
  • In the design phase, specific and detailed designs are created and finalized.  Building staff, families, and students continue to be active participants in this phase as complex design solutions are evaluated in their ability to meet the overall goals of the project and the FMP.  Additionally, highly technical explorations and decisions regarding improvements to existing systems and infrastructure are finalized. During this phase, any final adjustments to project budgets based on the specific design solution(s) are made. Based on the finalized design and budgets, competitive bids are then released to potential contractors.
  • Typically, the construction phase lasts from one to four years depending on the scope of the facility-improvement project. Construction activity and schedules are coordinated with school administrators and communicated to staff, families and students to minimize the impact on the learning environment. During the school year, construction activity is cordoned off from areas where students and staff are housed; students and staff are moved to different areas of the building when construction needs to begin in a particular area previously occupied. Once students and staff depart for summer break, this becomes the busiest time for construction as the entire building and grounds are now open to contractors to complete their work. Construction activity that would be too disruptive to conduct when students and staff are present is completed at this time; such work might include demolition, work that causes structure-born vibrations, or work that impacts emergency exiting or safety.
  • The close-out phase begins once a construction project has been substantially completed and final preparations are made by contractors to orient Facilities Department staff to the new features and systems of the building. This process involves reviewing a punch list to ensure all aspects of the project has been completed to specifications; conducting training on HVAC systems and technology equipment; and reviewing warranty information and operation and maintenance manuals, among other things.

7. Enrollment projections is the method used to anticipate the potential number of students attending a school from year to year based on factors such as birth rates, population growth, grade-to-grade retention of students, and their movement in and out of a specific geographic area. Enrollment projections are used in school facility planning to align program demand (families wanting to attend a school) with program capacity (the total number of students a building can accommodate). School districts also use enrollment projections to plan for staffing, programming, and transportation needs.

8. Facilities include the buildings, space and land owned by an entity. SPPS owns 73 buildings, 7.5 million square feet, and over 500 acres of land.

9. FMP Guiding Documents--vision statement, principles, standards and criteria--reflect the actual experience and aspirations of the people who most use the District's schools and facilities: staff, students, families, community members and partners. These guiding documents were developed by the original FMP Committee to define the framework SPPS uses to determine how facilities should serve the evolving learning needs of students in the District.

  • Vision statement which provides an aspirational description of how the district would like it's facilities to serve students, staff, families, community members and partners; the FMP vision statement is:

We envision versatile, equitable, healthy environments that balance the factors creating authentic, engaging, and
personalized learning experiences to sustain our academic mission
and deepen connections to our communities and world.

  • Principles are grounded in the overarching belief and commitment to what is important for all SPPS schools to meet the 21st century learning needs of teaching and learning. Examples of facility principles are: SPPS is committed to creating environments that foster personalized learning and collaboration; SPPS is committed to providing facilities that support access for all.
  • Standards describe 47 physical characteristics required of all SPPS facilities to provide consistency, value and quality as they are maintained, improved or built. For example, SPPS facility standards define the types of spaces needed in a school such as general and varied learning spaces, technology and studio labs, media centers, spaces for wrap around services, and welcoming and respectful main offices.
  • Criteria are the benchmarks used by SPPS to prioritize and schedule facility improvement projects among its buildings and lands. Examples include permanent construction, growth and alignment, quality learning spaces, and identifiable main entries.

10. FMP Planning Factors: Encompasses both quantitative and qualitative data to assess the conditions of facilities to determine the scope of work and budget needed to improve the conditions of facilities. The FMP employed three key studies to assess the conditions of SPPS facilities:

  • Educational Adequacy Assessment (EAA) is the baseline for standards of learning environments needed to adequately support instruction (e.g., audio visual aids, adequacy of electrical outlets, cabinets and white boards).
  • Facilities Alignment Assessment (FAA) was implemented to complement the EAA and FCA and measures how well facilities meet the 47 FMP facility Standards; each facility was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 as to how closely it met each of the 47 Standards.  
  • Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA) is an account of the physical condition of buildings.
  • School Pathways are the set of schools that a student will transition to at particular intervals (from elementary school to middle school to high school) based on a particular geographic area (community schools) or particular program focus areas (specialized or magnet programs) such as language immersion, International Baccalaureate, and Career and Technical Education.

11. Space Program quantifies the amount of space a school needs to support its academic needs and provides a way to meet consistent spatial needs across buildings and programs; it is often the first measure in determining if either the enrollment of a school needs to be decreased or if adding space (capacity) should be considered in a building's potential renovations. Space Programming is assessed via a flexible Dynamic Program for District-specific, District-wide equitable measures that translate into a Static Program (fixed enrollment, spaces, and sizes) during a project design process.

12. Work Scopes are preliminary, conceptual plans that outline the breadth and depth of the potential remodeling of a facility. Work scopes are produced during a project’s initial exploratory predesign phase in order to determine the scope of work desired and related costs. Work scopes and preliminary budgets are then adjusted and finalized in the design phase when the facility conditions and parameters are thoroughly assessed such as its plumbing and electrical systems; potential soil contamination that may need to be abated before construction; or the need to safely remove asbestos that may be discovered behind walls or floors.