By KATIE HETRICK
For the Times-Herald
DEARBORN — Fielding International has been hired to help Dearborn Public Schools conduct a long-range study of future facility uses and needs.
The Board of Education approved hiring the company at its September meeting after a few of the companies that submitted bids were interviewed.
DPS already had a detailed list of infrastructure needs for each building such as roofs, electrical, security, and HVAC systems. Fielding International will mesh those physical infrastructure needs with projected instructional needs and enrollment and develop a 30-year facilities recommendation report.
Related to that process, Fielding International will also work with the district to help update its strategic plan.
Fielding International already has started gathering information including talking with selected stakeholders. Small teams from the company have begun evaluation visits to each of the 37 buildings in the district.
Later this fall, community members will be invited to attend town halls to learn more about the process and to offer input on the facility needs and to serve on the strategic planning committee. More information about that will be released after town hall dates are set. The company has provided a tentative schedule for how it expects work to proceed.
A final report from Feilding International to the school board is expected in March.
A citizen’s committee last March recommended the district pursue a bond referendum on the November ballot to fund needed infrastructure work in the district. The school board instead asked for a 30-year facilities study to provide a better long-term picture of what building and educational needs are going to be in the coming decades.
Those interested in staying abreast of facilities planning needs in the district can top to the district’s Facilities Planning website.