This map for the Elizabethtown Area School District shows actual existing elementary students with a direct line to the schools they attend.
Projected student growth by municipality under three different growth scenarios done for the Elizabethtown Area School District.
Excerpt of an analysis by neighborhood of the percentage of households with adults over 40 years of age done for the Scranton School District.
This type of age data indicates households, which might "flip" from ones which currently, have few or no students to households with several young children.
State enrollment projections are shown by the white line whereas the colored lines show three possible population growth scenarios based on housing development information and impact on student enrollment over time.
The image above represents about 30 blocks of an area of the Scranton School District. Each dot represents a specific elementary school student and is color-coded by the school they attend.
This type of information is part of what is generated in phase I of the study.
This model for Scranton School District shows our computed attendance boundaries for our baseline option to retain all existing buildings in their current configuration with renovations as necessary only to meet minimum safety codes.
We find this baseline to be a useful comparison tool when evaluating construction costs and 40-year life cycle costs of other options.
Our attendance boundary computation takes into account preferences for walking distances, bus travel time and avoidance of crossing extremely busy roads among other factors.
These varying map images reflect part of an extensive GIS study performed by McKissick Associates as preparation for selecting land for acquisition by the district.
As part of the study, we overlaid actual student locations, neighborhood age demographics, attendance boundaries and existing schools.
Ideal locations for a new school were determined by our software based on travel times, neighborhood walkability, school capacity and population densities.
Potential land for acquisition was identified by locating large multiple or adjacent parcels with fewer than three property owners near the "ideal" school locations recommended by our software.
GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems and it's basically an enormous collection of electronic demographic data associated with maps. Information represented by "GIS" includes:
Typically, a GIS study will provide a great deal of in-depth information about an area. It is as much of an art as a scientific process involving prediction of future variables, which is always a risky endeavor. The accuracy of the predictions will only be as good as the combination of the architect's foresight and the openness of communication and level of optimism or pessimism of municipal officials, developers and the school administration.
Our goal as your architect will be focused on assisting your district to develop a long-term master plan. With the GIS component of a study, we hope to help you answer several key questions in addition to basic study information:
While sometimes the answers to these questions are surprising, often they confirm what district administrators may have suspected. In either case, our best quantitative, objective projection will give the statistical backup for the difficult decisions that administrators face and provide visually descriptive materials to illustrate complicated information when communicating with the community about the future plans of the district.
As a firm, we generally don't like to equate quantity with quality. However, yes, it is a very large document. Even a study without the complete GIS component is quite large. Depending on the number of schools being evaluated, we present our initial draft of phase one of the study in a 2 to 3 inch 3-ring binder. We issue remaining phases, revisions and new information in 3-ring punched format to be added to the original binder so that the study remains a "living document". As new student and enrollment data comes in throughout the study process, we include that information and revise many of the charts and projections.
The study process has several milestones where the district receives a great deal of paper. At the end of the process, the district will have many copies of a monumental, bound document as well as several very large display boards to represent most of the mapping data. The content includes the information listed below. Underlined items are specific to the GIS study components discussed above.
McKissick Associates gives you much more than just paper. We present our study findings at each phase in an open discussion forum. We will present all or part of the study data as often as required for the district to have a complete understanding of the information collected to date. We will also present our study findings in public open meetings so that taxpayers will have the opportunity to ask questions about the process as well as the results. It's important for the district and community to have these discussions periodically so that ideas and information coming from these open forums can be included in any further study projections.
We consider a study to be a consensus building process where the right solution is reached by the administration, the community and the design team arriving at a conclusion together at the end of a journey. We can help guide you and your community along the road and get you safely and confidently to your goals.
We believe that the success of any projects for your district stemming from this study will be the direct result of comprehensive initial planning. Setting goals and priorities for a district-wide strategy of development will help focus the creative process between the design team and the district staff most effectively.