The proposal for the new FHS facility includes retaining and renovating the 900 Wing, which is the section of the current FHS facility located next to the large student and public parking area on the East side of the site. It also houses the student entrance. It is the newest section of the current facility.
Current facility on left, proposed new facility on right
The 900 Wing renovation is the most cost-effective solution to address several needs:
- FHS field house locker rooms: The field house locker rooms are critical to our athletic program, and we currently do not have the correct number. The expanded locker rooms in the renovated space will bring us into compliance with federal Title IX regulations.
- District-wide Technology Department: Currently taking up two classrooms and an office space in the existing high school, our district-wide Technology Department supports technology infrastructure and operations in all seven schools as well as for Town Hall. Because of insufficient space, Town Hall cannot house the Technology Department. By placing the Technology Department in the renovated 900 Wing, we capture more instructional space for students in the proposed new FHS facility.
- Farmington Public Schools Central Office: Farmington has one of the smallest staff levels for Central Office in the entire state of Connecticut. We rank 155 out of 166 towns in general administration, meaning that only 11 other school districts in Connecticut spend less than Farmington on Central Office administration – and yet we experience favorable and impressive achievement outcomes in our schools. Due to the efficient staffing levels within Central Office, the 900 Wing will house the following Central Office departments in a reasonable level of square footage:
- Special Services
- Finance and Operations
- Human Resources
- Curriculum and Instruction
Currently, Central Office and Special Services are located at Town Hall. However, Town Hall is home to many Town departments, and some must be located in satellite offices because they cannot be accommodated in the current space at Town Hall. The Regional Probate Court is also located at Town Hall, which has its own significant space needs. The resulting overcrowding has also contributed to a lack of storage space as well as meeting/conference room space.
The pandemic brought to light other issues within the Central Office due to a lack of social distancing through overcrowding within the limited office space. Central Office will need to relocate no matter what due to overcrowding between the school district departments and the Town of Farmington departments, which will require funding. The use of the 900 Wing is the most cost-effective approach to fully maximize space and will avoid a costly purchase or costly lease options of office space for Central Office within Farmington.