‘Tis The Season…

There are two seasons around here: Winter and Construction. FPS Business Manager Broc Lietz gives a project update on the new school at Ed Clapp Park.

By FPS Business Manager Broc Lietz

portrait of Broc LietzThere is a standing joke that North Dakota has only two seasons: Winter and Construction . . .  Fargo Public Schools (FPS) is in the process of perpetuating this stereotype.

Recently, the Board of Education approved a new Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) which has been over one year in the making.  The LRFP was a combined effort of FPS Staff, Board of Education, and community.  Besides a roadmap for the next ten years, the LRFP also provides for immediate action to begin design and construction of a new elementary school to accommodate the growth in Fargo and specifically the student growth in FPS.

Fargo Park District logoMuch has been made in the media about a new school being built at Ed Clapp Park.  In fact, this location is the first priority for FPS.  Ed Clapp Park is the property of the Fargo Park District (FPD).  The Clapp Family donated the land many years ago to the FPD for development and use as a city park.  The park district has agreed to work in partnership with FPS to allow for the construction of a school on this site.  On Wednesday, December 4th, the FPS Planning Committee reviewed an initial draft of a joint powers agreement with the FPD which would pave the way for FPS to acquire the necessary property at Ed Clapp Park for school construction.

City of Fargo logoThis effort also requires the participation of the City of Fargo, as this construction leads to potential traffic congestion, new in-fill to an existing neighborhood, and additional infrastructure needs.  Further, Bethel Church owns property immediately to the east of Ed Clapp Park and a private developer owns an apartment complex on the corner of 27th Street and 32nd Avenue, which brings the private sector into conversation regarding new construction.

Fargo Public Schools has assembled a design team consisting of several district representatives to consult on facility design.  This team is working with the architect to design a four-section elementary school which will meet the needs of the attendance area of the new school.  We have also been having weekly meetings collaboratively with the Fargo Park District and City of Fargo representatives to discuss site plan design.  There are several joint use agreements that will be drafted between all parties which will allow for shared parking, facilities use, access to a newly developed 28th Street, field enhancements, and traffic flow; all in the name of providing a quality educational facility to serve the students of Fargo Public Schools.

The goal is to open a new elementary school in the fall 2015.  All parties are committed to working collaboratively toward this end goal.

This article is intended to do two things:
1) Update you regarding the progress of the LRFP and specifically a new elementary school, and
2) Show you the connectedness that exists among many public entities.

It is with the commitment to community and strategic development that FPS continues to be the standard bearer in North Dakota for K-12 education.  None of this is possible without the relationships and community partnerships that FPS has with the City of Fargo and the Fargo Park District.