Measure G - Mill Valley Middle School Renovation
Thank you for your interest in the Mill Valley Middle School Renovation topic. This page has been created to keep our community informed on this very important topic as our Board of Education continues along with the decision-making process. Please visit this page frequently, as we will continue to keep it updated with current, factual information. Thank you!
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February 14, 2024
Mill Valley Middle School
Construction Options Update
Input From Our Community
Last night's Measure G Community Forum witnessed an impressive turnout from diverse stakeholders, showcasing a strong commitment to our community's future. Over 100 people attended in-person and online, and attendees voiced thoughtful questions and contributed insightful comments regarding the Measure G Mill Valley Middle School renovation options. To reiterate, no decision has been made on the location of the new Mill Valley Middle School.
The district is grateful for the active participation and engagement displayed by attendees, reflecting the varied perspectives that enrich our community. The project management team was able to answer many questions, and absorbed feedback and input from the community. The questions and comments submitted underscore the collective dedication to ensuring that future developments align with our shared vision for education in Mill Valley. It is clear the community sees that replacing the 52-year-old facility with a contemporary campus is an investment in our students and their future. The recording of this meeting, and other Measure G Community Forums, can be found on our website.
The Board will evaluate the three construction options being presented using four key criteria:
- Educational Value/Teaching and Learning - Revitalized infrastructure designed to facilitate future learning needs with a long term vision of a school to last generations;
- Cost - Board responsibility to consider all financial implications as their fiduciary duty;
- Timeline - Obtain and review necessary reports to make informed decisions and avoid cost escalations
- Community Voice - Communication through letters written to LetterstotheBoardofTrustees@mvschools.org and during the Public Comment portion of our Board Meetings (Tuesday, February 27, and Thursday, March 7, 2024).
Mill Valley Middle School Reconstruction
Join the Discussion
Hear the facts. Ask questions. Share ideas.
The Mill Valley community is invited and encouraged to attend a community forum on Tuesday, February 13th, 5-7PM at the Mill Valley Middle School Library. The purpose of the gathering is to continue to provide the local community with information regarding options for reconstructing the Mill Valley Middle School (made possible thanks to the passage of Measure G in November, 2022), along with the opportunity to ask questions.
The Board is considering three options. Two involve construction on the current site and the third option involves construction on the Friends Field property. This third option has created some concern in the community.
The option to construct on Friends Field was introduced after learning that the District owns the property. This, combined with the potential construction cost savings and minimal disruption to the students and staff during the construction process obligated the Board to research this option.
While no decision has been made, the Board of Education gave direction to research this possibility as one of the options, and will continue to assess the options on the two sites (the second site is the existing middle school site) based on the following criteria:
- Teaching and Learning -- optimal instructional facilities for students and staff;
- Cost and Timeline – including all information on environmental studies and mitigation; and
- Community Input and Impact – allow the community to provide input into the process while understanding the impact on the broader community of constructing on either site.
Please join the Community Meeting (in-person or on Zoom) to hear the facts and ask your questions. We also invite you to visit our website for factual information about the MVMS reconstruction process. The site includes background information, timeline for decision-making, and a set of frequently asked questions.
We hope to see you there!
Mill Valley Board of Trustees Researching Possible Use of Field for Reconstruction
No Decision Made. Research Continues to Support an Informed Decision.
Renovation and upgrading Mill Valley Middle School was discussed by the Board of Trustees at last night’s Board meeting, and the Board confirmed its support to continue researching the possibility of construction on the field adjacent to school property and the Mill Valley Community Center and expressed its deep commitment to consider the community’s voice and concerns regarding the use of this space. The Board approved a budget of $130 million for campus renovation.
The Board and Superintendent stressed in the meeting that no decision has been made to construct on the field, however, they are researching this option. Given that the District owns the property, they have a fiduciary responsibility to examine the possibility of field use.
Three options for MVMS reconstruction are being researched. Two involve renovation on the current footprint and the third considers use of the field. All three are being researched by the staff who plan to present findings and recommendations to the Board in its March 7th regular meeting of the Board.
The Board directed that the research and findings must prioritize educational value to the students, noting the importance of using Measure G funds to create a contemporary learning facility in support of teaching and learning to benefit students today and tomorrow. Additional criteria include cost, timeline, and community input. As part of the cost and timeline analysis, District staff will work with experts to conduct an environmental review, assess safety concerns, considerations for traffic and community impacts.
The Board of Trustees’ Mission - A Steering Committee was established at MVMS so administration, faculty and staff can share their thoughts on optimal teaching and learning environments. The Steering Committee will be meeting on February 13.
Many community members attended the meeting urging the Board to protect the field and maintain its current use. The Board fully recognizes and respects that members of the community are deeply concerned by the thought of losing the field, which they recognize is a greatly appreciated community space. The Board is resolute in its commitment to consider the community’s viewpoints when they study the feasibility of building on the field. Interested community members are encouraged to attend the Community Engagement Meeting on February 13th. Details can be found here.
Transparency - Board Special Meeting
In late February, the Board will meet in a special, single-topic meeting to receive and review input from the Steering Committee and Community Engagement Meeting. Once the date is determined for the meeting, it will be shared with the public.
Measure G Investing in Our Schools, Our Students, Our Future
Important Message from Dr. Elizabeth Kaufman, Mill Valley District Superintendent
I would like to take this opportunity to update our community on the issue regarding the Mill Valley Middle School renovation. We are receiving a great deal of communication from our community regarding the Board of Trustees' direction to explore the possibility of using the Friends Field for the middle school reconstruction and I want to provide you with some important facts.
This topic is on the February 8th Board Meeting agenda, and because our community is sharing their interest in this subject, I wanted to be sure to let you know, as always, the public is welcome to attend the meeting in person or on Zoom.
As background, the Board learned that millions could possibly be saved if the reconstruction utilized the field, therefore they had a fiduciary obligation to ask our staff to explore this option.
The Board gave direction to explore, not to build.
I want to be very clear that the Board has not given direction to use the field for permanent or temporary middle school facilities. Rather, the direction was to explore the feasibility of two site location options for the reconstruction of Mill Valley Middle School, with further direction that we would need to see and understand costs, timelines, impacts on teaching and learning, as well as impacts on the broader community as part of our decision-making process.
NO DECISION on the site location for the reconstruction of the Mill Valley Middle School will be made in February. In order to maintain our construction timeline and avoid escalating costs, the Board anticipates making its decision on the middle school site location at the March 7, 2024 Board meeting.
As part of the Board’s commitment to hear thoughts, questions and ideas from the community, a community outreach forum is scheduled for 5:00 - 7:00 pm on February 13, 2024. It will be held at the Mill Valley Middle School. Participants may also attend via Zoom.
We continue to appreciate community engagement and feedback. Please reach out to the Board through letterstotheboardoftrustees@
mvschools.org. B e assured that all communications received from the community are shared with the Board. As appropriate, communications are also shared with our Measure G design team.
We have also created this web page where our community can go for current information. As always, thank you for your support of our schools, students, staff and families.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Board is considering three options. Two involve construction on the current site and the third option involves construction on the Friends Field property. We added the Friends Field option when we learned the District owns the property and that constructing on the field could potentially benefit our students and staff in a number of ways.
Ensures continuity of teaching and learning and the quality of the “Middle School Experience” because there is no need for temporary classrooms or student/staff relocation during construction
Essentially, this would be like moving into a new home that you have constructed to your needs rather than living through a complete home renovation.
Better allocation of funds since we would not need to invest in portables or other associated relocation costs for the temporary classrooms and campus.
The fact is that there is no formal agreement between the District, as the owner of the property, and the City. The most recent title review shows that there has not been an agreement for nearly 20 years. In 1979 the District and the City entered into a Joint Use Agreement which governed the use of the property until that Agreement expired in 2004
No. There has been no formal agreement between the District, which owns the property, and the City for 20 years. . I In 1979 the District and the City entered into a Joint Use Agreement which governed the use of the property until that Agreement expired in 2004.
Essentially, the March timeline is a practical matter of logistics. Building on the current middle school site requires us to purchase and develop an interim school campus of approximately 29 temporary (portable) classrooms. To complete the new school by the 2027 school year, we must backward map work for the two options that require temporary classrooms to ensure that we have adequate time to order and install the portables for the start of the 2025 school year. .
We are targeting a go/no-go decision about the optimal option for student learning at the March 7th meeting of the Board of Education in order to have the time necessary to accommodate temporary units, if they are required. The option to construct on Friends Field would not require temporary classrooms.
Renovation of a 52 year old building poses a number of problems to bring it up to 21st century educational, safety and accessibility standards that would be expensive and time-consuming to solve, including a full seismic and foundation retrofit, compliance with modern codes and regulations (public schools are subject to some of the state’s most rigorous building codes), significant mechanical, electrical and environmental renovations to bring the building up to technology standards required for the state-of-the-art educational facility we want to create for our students. This was estimated to be more expensive than rebuilding.
The middle school was constructed in 1972, and its aging infrastructure and Measure G will allow the District to construct a campus for 21st century teaching and learning. We are eager to upgrade science, technology, engineering and math classrooms and lab space, and create collaborative, project-based, and flexible learning space to increase student support. Additionally, we can contemporize outdated electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems to improve air quality, and improve fire and earthquake safety. A new building would also provide an opportunity to address sea level rise concerns voiced by the community and school district.
What would prevent the District from using Friends Field for portables during construction, then returning the field to its original use after the project is completed?
We are examining the costs involved and completing necessary environmental studies before placing units on the field. Additionally, we would need to factor in the added cost to repair and restore the field to its original use. We are committed to optimize Measure G resources to support teaching and learning environments that support educational excellence for our students.
What is the difference between hard and soft costs for a construction project, and why do the soft costs for this project seem so high?
Industry standard soft costs can range from 25%-50% of a project's total budget, which has been validated based on historical data. The middle school estimated soft cost is currently estimated around $65M which would amount to roughly 35% of the total project costs, which seems reasonable for the middle school project. Examples of hard vs. soft costs can be seen here (link to image). This slide is from a presentation delivered to the Board of Education at public meetings on 2/1 and 2/8. The complete presentation showing all three options can be seen here.
No, the Board gave direction to staff to explore the feasibility of this option along with two other options. No decisions have been made at this time.
The Board will consider the following four categories:
Teaching and Learning and impacts on students and staff
Timeline – from concept to completion
Impacts on the broader community
Is it true the District recently discovered that MVSD is the owner and titleholder of the property on which Friends Field and the Community Center sit?
The District confirmed through a title search that the property adjacent to the Community Center, known as “Friends Field”, is owned by the District.
Why would you consider “Friends Field” when you know our community relies on that space for so many important activities?
The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to consider all options that make sense for student learning and to optimize resources. That said, we do hear the community concerns and the Board is resolute in its commitment to consider these concerns in all decision-making.
We did receive an estimate that the option to renovate onto the field could save up several millions dollars, which is why we asked to explore this option. The revised cost estimate is available on this dedicated web page.
Our goal is to have all the information needed so that an informed decision can be made at the March 7th Board of Education meeting.
Please send your thoughts to the Board Members at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are receiving and reading every message. Or use the general Board email address on this webpage.
The Board and the District truly value the City of Mill Valley as a key community partner and will continue to work with City leaders to ensure that this process is inclusive, transparent, and considers our rich history as community partners.
The Board held a special meeting after becoming aware that the title report confirmed the District owns the property and we wanted to have our discussion regarding exploring it as an option in public. While special meetings may be held with less notice to the public (thus, it may have seemed like a surprise), the simple fact is that we needed to and wanted to have this discussion in public. The Board also fully understands its commitment to consider the impact such an option would have on the entire community, which has relied on this recreational and communal space for years.
The engineering team reviewed all available documents regarding the Middle School site. Ninyo & Moore, our environmental consultant, reviewed all available documentation and determined based off of historical documentation there is nothing out of the ordinary that cannot be mitigated. As the design progresses the environmental consultant will be working with public agencies to obtain approvals for the mitigation plan which will include safety measures for those that may be affected in the surrounding areas.
This will be a rigorous process with oversight from various public agencies for all of the available options and will ensure that student, staff, and community safety is at the forefront of the district planning and construction.
Schedule of Upcoming Meetings
School Board Meeting February 8, 2024 - 6pm
- Middle School Conceptual Program Options and Costs
- Middle School Location Options
- Board Action for Approval of Middle School Conceptual Design Program and Budget
- Measure G Updates including Schedule, and Milestones
Steering Committee Meeting -February 13, 2024 - 3:15-4:50pm
- 1/17/24 Sites Tour Committee Feedback
- Committee Feedback of Design Program
- Conceptual Site Plans
- Conceptual Floor Plan Option(s)
- Building Massing
- Sustainable Strategies “Workshop”
- Budget Model and Interim Housing Options
Community & Staff Meeting - February 13, 2024 - 5pm
- Measure G Update
- Board Meeting Recap
School Board Meeting - March 7, 2024
- Middle School Conceptual Design Location Direction
- Measure G Update
School Board Meeting - April 25, 2024
- MVMS Geotechnical and HazMat Contracts
- MVMS A/E Services for Schematic Design through Construction Administration
- Measure G Update
- Design Updates
School Board Meeting - May 22, 2024
- Measure G Update
- Design Updates
- CEQA Update
School Board Meeting - June 5, 2024
- Measure G & Community Outreach Update
- Design Updates
- Old Mill and Park ES Surveys Contracts
School Board Meeting - June 13, 2024
- Measure G Update
School Board Meeting - August 8, 2024
- Measure G Update
School Board Meeting - September 11, 2024
- Measure G Update
Feedback & Communication
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