Facilities Planning

RUHS Master Plan

I am a licensed architect and former educator. I have the professional experience to plan for building needs, and make them safe.

A school district should always have a blueprint of current and future facilities. As Dr. Alpern explained, RBUSD did not have a long-term outlook until Dec 2022. We have an opportunity to decide on small and huge changes, including necessary renovations. Remember, some building sites date back to 1925 (Beryl elementary) and 1905 (RUHS, above). We can also focus on small, but critical details like implementing safety measures against, for example, active shooters or other intruders. We can integrate more sustainable elements like solar and brown and gray water recirculation. We can improve the health of students and staff by improving air quality. Big picture, we can collaborate with City Council on how housing may affect enrollment, which directly determines classroom sizes. The last thing we want is many "temporary classrooms" that stick around for a decade.

I actually have professional experience regarding school design. As an architect, I designed several public schools for Kileen Independent School District, in Kileen, TX. One of the biggest challenges is how much school facilities lag behind housing development. Take, for example, a housing developer who builds a subdivision of, say, 500 homes or housing units. That could yield on average just under 3 people per household, but only 40 children per 100 housing units, or 200 children in this case. The developer could take 5 years to plan the subdivision, 6 months to pay some fee toward the school district, and 3 years to build. In contrast, the school district could take 10+ years to finally open doors, AFTER the developer starts construction. That may mean the school district may have to accommodate those 200 children for 7+ years somehow, squeezing them into existing classrooms, or in those "temporary" structures. Down the street, another developer may build another 200 units, and so forth. In many tertiary, or now secondary cities like Austin, Denver, and Phoenix, this massive growth of suburbia encountered these school district lag dilemmas.

US Embassy in Berlin

Regarding facility safety, I designed the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany, at Brandenburg Gates. There, we had to address security challenges including bomb blast resistant windows, while developing a very noteworthy architectural design to represent the US. One of my monthly tasks was to renumber and relabel all the rooms so that no one would know how to invade the building. We even had several German nationals in our firm but they could not work on our project because everyone on the team had to be U.S. citizens! Security and safety comes in all physical, logistical and intangible forms.

Darwin was correct in saying that we are a product of our environment.
Whom do you want to shape this environment?
🙋🏻‍♂️ The candidate who has designed schools, and taught in schools.
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