TCPS Presents Educational Facilities Master Plan Recommendation for Facility Utilization of Tilghman Elementary School

At the request of the Board of Education, Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Griffith presented data from the recommendations made in the Educational Facilities Master Plan at the July Board of Education Meeting. The plan was prepared by Dr. David Lever of Educational Facilities Planning LLC in Annapolis and presented to the Board in its entirety in June. Tonight’s board agenda included a presentation on the facility utilization of Tilghman Elementary School (TES), which is one of several recommendations in the plan.

Dr. Griffith’s presentation included a review of facility utilization percentages for the St. Michaels Campus and Tilghman Elementary. For 2017-2018, the projected utilization for St. Michaels Elementary is 76% of State Rated Capacity, compared with 69% for St. Michaels Middle/High School and just 37% for TES. The average facility utilization percentage for all other Talbot schools is 83%.

“The low utilization of Tilghman Elementary is a concern,” Lever stated in his Executive Summary, “since this not only represents an inefficient use of operating budget funds, but also strains the ability of the Board of Education to provide these students with a full and adequate elementary school education.”

Dr. Griffith also reviewed the potential impact of consolidation on utilization percentage at the St. Michaels Campus, as well as the current and consolidated staffing scenarios. She then presented the Energy Consumption/Cost Study which reflected average cost data from FY13-FY16. While the average annual total energy costs are lower for Tilghman than White Marsh and Chapel District, the average annual energy cost per square foot and per student is exponentially higher.

Finally, Griffith shared an Estimated Cost Avoidance Summary, again based on average cost data from FY13-FY16 looking at categories such as staffing reduction, contracted services, energy costs and custodial supplies. The projected total savings is $384,276. “When faced with making significant cuts to our budget, we have to be certain that we are utilizing all of our resources efficiently and effectively,” Dr. Griffith said.

Dr. Griffith reviewed State of Maryland Regulations and Policy 10.4 for Retirement of a Facility. She also emphasized that a public hearing and adequate notice would be provided for the community should the Board decide to move forward and consider implementing the report recommendations. “As the school system begins planning the FY19 Budget this fall, this data and these recommendations should be considered,” added Dr. Griffith.