The West Delaware Community School District is beginning a long-range facilities planning process and is looking for community members for input.

An organization specializing in long-range planning has spent time over the past year reviewing aspects of the district’s facilities. They have reported their initial findings of the current condition of West Delaware buildings, including strengths and challenges, to the West Delaware School Board and administration.

The district will now take the next step and is seeking input from the community. The district wants to ensure the community has the knowledge needed to engage in the process and has a voice to provide input to the school board regarding plans. While the school board will have many factors to consider, the board is particularly interested in the perspective and recommendations from a broad and diverse group of community members.

To do this, the district is organizing a Facility Planning Task Force. The citizen-based group will serve in an advisory capacity to the administration and school board and will be asked to do the following:

• Review demographic community growth data and projections, innovative instructional models, and the facility requirements to support student needs and programming

• Review and understand the current district financial position as well as financing options available to support potential projects

• Brainstorm, explore, evaluate, and refine potential long term flexible and fiscally responsible solutions, including considering operational efficiencies and costs

• Consider enrollment trends and grade and/or school configurations

• Consider various health and safety factors

• Seek and/or review community feedback through multiple outreach opportunities including but not limited to a community-wide survey;

• Serve as factual key communicators to the West Delaware community throughout the process

• Prepare and present a report summarizing findings and advisory recommendation(s)

The task force will meet the first and third Wednesday of every month from March through May from 6-8:30 p.m. Taskforce members are asked to commit to attending each of these meetings. The district is seeking a representative sample of the communities in the district on the task force, therefore not everyone may be able to be an official task force member. However, all meetings of the task force will be open to the public. The district is also exploring additional ways to gain public input in the process, especially from those who are not selected for the task force or those who can not commit to attending all the meetings.

Applications for those interested in being a member of the task force are available on the school website, www.w-delaware.k12.ia.us or by calling Laurie Buchheit at 563-927-3515, extension 406. Applications are due by Feb. 14.