At an Edgemont School Board meeting on Sept. 24, board members unanimously approved a contract award for district architectural and engineering services to Fuller & D’Angelo, an architectural firm based out of Elmsford, to update a room utilization study and find out what the district’s spatial needs are.
The eventual goal is for the firm to generate a number of different construction options for the board of education to include in the next bond, which would occur in the next school year.
“The first task of this school year will be engaging with the community and listening to what matters most to them about Edgemont and about our facilities and spaces,” Superintendent Victoria Kniewel said. “The next task will be looking at options and making decisions.”
According to Kniewel, the district has known their facilities’ needs for a while and has already attempted to increase space wherever possible. Over the past two years, the high school campus introduced four new classroom spaces and the district has had to get creative with increasing space at the elementary schools.
“But now our creativity can only go so far when we need additional square footage,” Kniewel said.
The district is also looking to migrate its district office next school year from the high school to a temporary rental space. The idea would be to use the space where the district office is now for classrooms.
Between 2000 and 2018 Edgemont’s district enrollment has increased by around 20% or 356 students. More students are expected in the projected enrollment although numbers could change if Dromore Road is developed or there are changes in SALT deductions.
“Our enrollment has been steadily growing so we’ve been adjusting,” said Kniewel. “We knew that this was the time to go for another bond.”
According to Fuller & D’Angelo’s response to the request for proposal (RFP), the firm has 20 employees with six registered architects and has completed $350 million in school building and restoration in the last five years.
The firm plans to visually survey the existing facilities, review available plans, review completed building condition surveys, perform surveys of infrastructure and construction items, and develop conceptual plans and estimations for probable construction costs.
Kniewel said she anticipates the board will have construction options in front of them by the second half of the school year.
According to Kniewel, Fuller & D’Angelo were the only respondents to the RFP.
The last time the Edgemont Union Free School District issued a bond was in 2014. The $12.8 million bond passed with an overwhelming majority, 368 to 95 and included a series of capital improvements, which included renovations at all three schools and Blanford Field.
“It’s good practice to go out for an RFP on professional services on a somewhat regular basis,” Kniewel said. “Fuller & D’Angelo had already been the provider of our architectural services for a number of years, so they know Edgemont very well.”