Why are we creating a master plan?

The NMUSD 2024 Facilities Master Plan is a community-driven, collaborative, and detailed analysis to effectively shape the future of education.

Learn about the Master Planning Process

What were the steps we took to conduct this master plan?

The Newport Mesa Unified School District contracted with the DLR Group to conduct an outreach effort and guide the District, its Staff, and its community through a process that would result in a master plan. The master plan will be a tool, used by the district, to collect the vision for the continued development and improvements of its facilities and campuses over the next 30 to 50 years. 

At this point, it will be helpful to define what a master plan is. According to the California Department of Education, a Long Range Facilities Master Plan (FMP) is “a compilation of information, policies, and statistical data about a school district. It is organized to provide: 1) A continuous basis for planning educational facilities that will meet the changing needs of a community; and 2) Alternatives in allocating facility resources to achieve the district’s goals and objectives. It is used for planning facilities needs for either pupil enrollment growth or decline.” Further simplified, it is a road map that the Newport Mesa Unified School District will use to manage changes in facilities, your community, and how education is delivered. 

It is also helpful to note what a Master Plan is NOT.

It is NOT a tool that defines educational curriculum or programs. (It does define spaces and facilities that support existing or planned programs). It does NOT prioritize projects or define an implementation schedule. (It DOES however provide lists of all potential projects so that your board and community can begin the process of prioritizing work without the risk of invalidating future needed improvements.)

The 4 Stages of Master Planning

The Master planning effort is broken into four separate steps.

The District’s design consultants, DLR Group, conducted extensive site assessments of each district campus and facility. Included in the assessments were documented discussions and interviews with key site staff to learn about how facilities are used and how instruction and learning are conducted. Site assessments also included evaluations of the conditions of facilities, its site access, and other issues related to educational campus planning.

Before any concepts were identified, the Newport-Mesa Unified School district and its design consultants conducted extensive listening sessions and community outreach efforts. This critical initial step in the planning process identified District-wide GOALS for each campus, project FACTS influencing the practical planning options for each campus, and NEEDS associated with educational programs and facilities.  

These outreach efforts were conducted both in-person and online. In-person sessions were conducted according to high school attendance boundaries over the course of five separate evenings. Invitations were extended to all members of the community, including students, parents, residents, staff, community members, public safety officials, local representatives, and others. These sessions conveniently allowed attendees to offer input and voice concerns for multiple campuses in one single evening. The results of the in-person sessions can be seen on the “facility feedback” portion each campus page. 

Regions of In-Person Listening Sessions
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In tandem with the in-person sessions, an online survey was conducted district wide. The survey asked questions about 10 key areas for Newport Mesa Unified School District as shown below.

Respondents of the survey were asked to identify their correlating campus for feedback, and were then asked two questions for each category below:  

  1. How important to you is this category? 
  2. What do you believe is the quality of this category at your campus? 
Campus Categories
  1. Site Access: Improve Site Access to schools, with a focus on Drop off and Pickup, Parking, Bus Access, bicycle parking, and safe walkable pathways to school. 
  2. Permanent Building Renovation: Renovate and repair our existing buildings with new HVAC, finishes, communication systems, electrical upgrades, windows, roofing, and sewer and water connections. 
  3. Campus Safety and Security: Strategies such as single point of entry, secure perimeter fencing, lighting, surveillance, and visual barriers between play areas from public streets. 
  4. Creating Space for Specialized Programs: Elementary Schools: Provide appropriately sized and equipped instructional spaces for specialized programs such as STEM, Science, Music, Art, Early Education Programs (Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten). 
    Middle and High Schools: Provide appropriately sized and equipped instructional spaces for specialized programs such as STEM, Science, Music, Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA), or Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. 
  5. Remove or Replace Relocatable Buildings: Remove relocatable classrooms or replace them with permanent facilities to better facilitate collaborate learning, improve student outcomes, and better utilization of campus space. 
  6. Library and Media Centers: Improve libraries and Media Centers to be more technology centered with direct connection to outdoor learning opportunities.
  7. Athletic and Outdoor Spaces: Elementary Schools: Improve or add playgrounds, play fields, play equipment, hardcourts, shade trees, shade structures, and outdoor instructional and socialization spaces. 
    Middle Schools: Improve lockers, gymnasiums, athletic fields, hardcourts, athletic courts, shade trees/structures, and outdoor instructional or socialization spaces.
    High Schools: Improve lockers, gymnasiums, stadiums, athletic fields, athletic courts, aquatic centers, practice fields, shade trees/structures, and outdoor instructional or socialization spaces. 
  8. Administration and Support Spaces: Improve, expand or create appropriately sized campus lobbies, administration spaces, health offices, counseling suites, wellness rooms, storage, teacher support spaces, and conference rooms. 
  9. Food Service: Improve or expand food service options, shaded/ conditioned dining spaces, upgrade kitchens/serveries.
  10. MPR: Elementary Schools: Improve, replace, or expand MPRs to include air conditioning, contemporary lighting, audio visual improvements, acoustic enhancements, curtain, and appropriate theatrical rigging needed to support school programs and community events.
    Theater, MPR: Middle and High Schools: Improve, replace, or expand theaters to include air conditioning, contemporary lighting, audio visual improvements, acoustic enhancements, theatrical rigging, secondary performance spaces, and supporting programs needed to support school performances and community events. 

Results of these surveys can be see comprehensively here or analyzed by campus on the “community feedback” tab of each campus page. 

Department Interviews  

Lastly, interviews were conducted with key internal staff to outline key requirements, ranging from special education, to nutrition, transportation, maintenance, counseling, and instruction. Each department participated in several sessions outlining key requirements, needs, and goals for the master plan.

The multi-step process conducted by the District has been documented into this website to provide the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and Community with access to the results of the process. Master Plans for each campus have been created in response to the feedback and assessments. Within this site you will see the results of the facility assessments and proposed solutions. The following steps and categories of analysis have been used to analyze each district site: 

Program Confirmation

Review of the recently completed projects, past priorities, and program information. A review and validation of this criteria was addressed with the District leadership and principal of each campus. This program confirmation meeting with the site principal was valuable in the ultimate planning process to assure that the facilities on each campus can accommodate the District’s program goals. 

Campus Site Planning

All relevant data, programming and facility needs identified were compiled into conceptual planning studies for each campus that were vetted with District leadership and site principals. From this iterative process of collaborative planning, a final campus master plan was developed for each campus identifying potential new facilities as well as the need for reconfiguration or modernization of existing facilities as needs suggested. 

Conceptual Cost Estimating

The implementation of the Facilities Master Plan requires development of conceptual estimates of probable construction and development costs for each campus. This information includes target value costs for building and site development based on current market costs and escalated to a probable timeframe for construction. Soft costs are in addition to construction costs and cover District project management costs such as State agency approval fees (e.g. DSA), engineering, testing, inspection, furniture and equipment, etc. which are outside of the typical construction contract. These costs are included based on the District’s historical project delivery cost data to provide an overall projected Project Cost Budget for each campus.

Community Survey (Coming Soon)

The community will provide feedback on the proposed solutions through an integrated master plan survey. This digital tool will be used to refine and improve the master plan further in the future and to assist the community and board too set priorities.

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Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Facilities Master Plan