Proposition S

Proposition S

Prop S Bond Issue: Progress as Promised

On June 2, 2020, 79.28% of Francis Howell School District voters approved a $244 million bond issue that does not increase the tax rate. The approval of Proposition S allows the District to borrow money now and in the future to address pressing facility needs at all Francis Howell Schools.  The projects funded through Prop S are detailed in the Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan (CFMP). The CFMP calls for major updates at the older schools in the District, including Henderson, Fairmount, Becky-David, Hollenbeck, and Barnwell. The plan includes the construction of a new Francis Howell North High School, and improvement and safety updates at all schools across the District.

News Updates

March 2021

In March, the District awarded Hof Construction the contract for Districtwide security vestibules installation, with work set to begin at the conclusion of this school year.

The new security vestibules, which will be part of each school’s front entrance, will enhance the safety of the schools and be ready when students return for the 2021-2022 school year. Impacted schools include Becky-David Elementary, Castlio Elementary, Central Elementary, Harvest Ridge Elementary, Independence Elementary, John Weldon Elementary, Warren Elementary, Barnwell Middle School, Bryan Middle School, Francis Howell Middle School, Hollenbeck Middle School, Saeger Middle School and Francis Howell High School.  

Becky David After LightsBecky David Before Lights

During Spring Break, Prop S work began at Becky-David Elementary. The Facilities and Operations Department utilized this past week to get a jump start on renovation work to try to make up for the week lost due to weather earlier in the Spring. All classroom lights were updated to new LED fixtures and common areas such as the gyms and cafeteria were painted.

Over the summers of 2021 and 2022, Becky-David will have it’s electrical and HVAC systems updated, painting of the classrooms, new flooring, tuckpointing of the building, bathroom updates, parking lot repairs and updates plus much more.

Also in March, the City of St. Peters Planning and Zoning Commission approved site plans for the new Francis Howell North High School.

FHN Elevations

A traffic study at the campus was conducted this month to help ensure traffic runs smoothly both during construction and after the new high school opens.

Additionally, this month, geotechnical testing was conducted in the footprint of the new high school building. Using large drilling rigs, borings were drilled over 20 feet into the ground in order to collect soil samples. These samples help engineers understand the properties of the soil and groundwater beneath the new school, as these site characteristics impact building design.

February 2021

Industrial Technology teachers Mike Green and Brian Stemmermann review design plans with Hoener Associates architect Wade WelchThis month, the architect for the Francis Howell North project met with Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler and staff members from the academic and athletic departments to discuss design plans for the new FHN. The project's Construction Manager At-Risk, S.M. Wilson, provided a Schematic Budget for the FHN campus. A schematic site plan, which shows the existing and proposed developments to the campus, was submitted for review to the City of St. Peters Planning and Zoning Commission. A package for multiple security vestibules throughout the District was sent out for bids from local contractors, with construction to occur during the summer.

December 2020/January 2021

Much of December was devoted to refining drawings for academic spaces at the new Francis Howell North. Regular meetings with SM Wilson were established as part of the CMAR process. The District and SM Wilson have agreed to a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contract model, with construction budget estimates created at various stages:

• First Iteration - Schematic Design (February)
• Second Iteration - Design Development Budget (April)
• Final GMP (October)

Main Level
Main Level

Upper Level
Upper Level

Lower Level
Lower Level

Work also continued on drawings for the District security vestibule packages, which will go out for bid in early February and be presented to the Board of Education for approval in March. Weis Design Group (WDG) continues their evaluation of District parking lots, playgrounds and fields. These are broken up into four phases of review. At the end of each phase, WDG provides the district with a comprehensive plan for improvements needed at each site. Each plan has an assigned budget as well as a priority designation. This information will be useful in determining next steps, and in future capital planning beyond the scope of Prop S.

New FHU and DLC BuildingProp S calls for the demolition of the current Francis Howell Union building, leaving the District with two options: build a new facility, or find an existing building within the FHSD attendance zone that meets the needs outlined in Prop S. After considering multiple buildings within District boundaries or building new, the Board of Education approved the purchase of a facility located at 801 Corporate Center Drive in O’Fallon. Currently in the due diligence phase, the District expects to close on the building in April of 2021.

With an original list price of $8.8M, the District was able to negotiate the purchase price to $6.3M, which includes office furnishings and more than three acres of land. The lower purchase price allows for necessary renovations, while remaining within the budget set by Prop S. 

In addition to Francis Howell Union and the DLC, the new facility will be home to content leaders, disability access services, ADA compliance officers, and Special Education staff.  

The facilities team also reviewed other projects slated for Prop S Phase 1, to see if additional cost savings could be achieved by utilizing extra space in the new building. A current plan is to relocate some or all of the employees in the District Administration Building, and then repurpose the current Administration Building for use by the Transportation Department, saving the District $1M on the Prop S Bus Garage project. The District expects to close on the new property in April, with remodeling work to commence upon closing. The priority focus will be to transition the Union Program to the newly acquired facility, making it ready for students at the start of the 2021-22 school year.

November 2020

A meeting taking place between FHN staff members and the District's architect, to discuss needs for the new FHN building.Meetings were held in November with the District's architect and Francis Howell North Principal Dr. Nathan Hostetler, along with teachers and staff members from all of FHN's departments to solicit feedback on classroom and lab layouts, room dimensions, storage needs, support spaces, and finishing touches, like lighting, casework, sinks, and data and power needs. This valuable input from FHN teachers and staff will influence the design decisions made for the new high school.

Also this month, the Francis Howell North Design Team conducted a three-phase process to secure a contractor to serve as Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) for the FHN high school complex. The process included a form Request for Qualification (RFQ), followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP), and an interview process for the firms selected as finalists. CMAR is a new process available to public entities. FHSD will be one of the first school districts to utilize this construction method for a new build project in the St. Charles County area. CMAR is faster construction, which includes the builder in the design/drawing phase to provide additional guidance for efficiencies in the construction process. As a result, the builder will be able to provide the District with a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the construction of the new Francis Howell North High School. Throughout this phased process, the Design Team selected S.M. Wilson and has entered into negotiations for a contract to provide CMAR services.

A construction worker uses a large drill to drill into the parking lot at Francis Howell Central High School.The District engaged Weis Design Group to evaluate parking lots and playgrounds across the District. This evaluation will help prioritize the work that needs to be done and ensure proper distribution of funds from Proposition S. Core drilling took place at some Francis Howell Central High School parking lots. These core samples will be used to better identify how much pavement exists below the surface, so appropriate decisions and plans can be created to reflect repairs needed at parking lots across the District.

Security vestibules are still being designed and meetings with building principals also occurred this month.

October 2020

A Hoener Associate architect discusses security vestibules with District staff at John Weldon Elementary.A Hoener Associates architect discussed plans for the new Proposition S-funded security vestibules with principals and FHSD administration at John Weldon Elementary. One of the most effective means of preventing intruders in the school environment is to control access at the main entrance of the building. Proposition S funds for the construction or renovation of safety vestibules at all Francis Howell Schools, which would route visitors through a separate space for check-in and visitor screening. 

A surveyor gathers data for the new District Transportation facility.

Site surveyors gathered data for the new District Transportation Facility.

October Board Update Report

September 2020

Fairmount Elementary's portable classroom was completed. Work also began on the Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) process for the new Francis Howell North High School. The design team recommended to the Board of Education, after researching the process of CMAR and how it could help be more cost-effective, as well as shorten the timeline of construction for the FHN building. The selection process will be a two-step process, starting with an RFQ that leads to select respondents of the RFQ to be invited to submit an RFP.

August 2020

Fairmount's Jr Construction Team watches the installation of a portable trailer.Fairmount Elementary's portable classroom began installation and presented a unique opportunity to engage students in the construction process. Over the course of several days, students were invited to observe the installation and ask questions about the various trade skills that were completed the installation work. Students learned how their lessons from the classroom are being applied to real jobs in the workforce. 

Hollenbeck Middle School received a new track as part of the Prop S work.
The Hollenbeck Middle School track was started and completed. This project was a complete tear out of the old track and installation of a new track, that also included ADA access to the track from the school building.

July 2020

The Board of Education approved the Hollenbeck Track replacement as part of Proposition S. The Warren Elementary parking lot was also replaced and resurfaced during this month.

June 2, 2020

Prop S SignageFrancis Howell School District voters approved Missouri's largest bond issue. Prop S passed with 79.28% voter approval. The $244 million bond issue does not increase the current tax rate. Approval of Prop S allows the District to borrow money now and in the future to address pressing facility needs at all Francis Howell Schools.

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