Greetings St. Francis School Parents and Guardians,
Who's idea was it to create a Facilities Master Plan? Actually, the idea came from our founders twenty years ago. The original master plan included the footprint for a multipurpose building located between the Fr. Seamus Glynn Center and the Pre-K/Kindergarten building. Although the multipurpose building was never built, it was included in the conditional use permit approved by the Yorba Linda Planning Commission in 1997. Through the extraordinary efforts of the founders and the generosity of the parishioners from St. Martin de Porres Church and San Antonio de Padua Church, the school was built without incurring debt. However, funding for the multipurpose building was not included, which would lead to future St. Francis School families and supporters to raise funds in order to build this much needed facility.
Soon after I arrived at St. Francis School in 2011, I was asked, "When are we going to build a gym?" It took a few years to build enrollment to a sustainable level and in June of 2016, I met with a small group of parents to discuss the prospect of building a multipurpose building. In the spring of 2017, several current and former St. Francis School families and faculty participated in focus group meetings to discuss future facility needs. In order to continue fulfilling our mission and deliver an extraordinary educational experience we discussed what students need in order to develop their God-given skills and talents. These meetings provoked thoughtful discussion and a list of ideas. Based on the feedback from the focus groups, a survey was created to receive input from the school community and prioritize our facilities needs.
We had an impressive 89% response rate to the survey. The high response rate was an important "temperature check" to measure community support, and it was critical to help develop and prioritize a long-range facilities master plan to meet the needs of current and future students. In summary, 75% of our survey respondents ranked building a multipurpose events center/auditorium as our primary facility need. Expanding our Preschool and Pre-K in addition to expanding administrative office space were rated very closely as priorities 2 and 3.
An architect was selected to develop a preliminary facilities plan including building location, spatial features and renderings. Specifically, we asked the architects to include the following program elements: a multipurpose events center/auditorium which includes a basketball/volleyball court, performing arts stage, flexible learning space, faculty room, covered eating area and warming kitchen; expand the current Preschool and Pre-K from 3 to 5 classrooms; expand office/meeting space to meet administrative, parent and student needs (i.e. staff offices, student support services, conference room, and dedicated space for extended care and Adoration).
What did we do with this information? Find out in my next message!