Capital Projects, RFPs & Bids
Bridge Street Park
Facilities Master Plan
The Town of Suffield and Suffield Public Schools recently collaborated to form a Joint Facilities Committee and hired Tecton Architects as part of an RFP process to complete a Facilities Master Plan.
The Plan will assess the use and condition of select Municipal and Board of Education facilities and adjacent land to establish a priority, schedule, and budget for the most effective use; modernization, replacement, or expansion that will create a framework for the Town’s Capital Plan for the next ten (10) years.
- Goal #1: Create a comprehensive master plan for public buildings that will serve the Town's needs for the next ten years.
- Goal #2: Assess the current use and space needs of public facilities.
- Goal #3: Establish a priority, schedule, and budget for replacement, consolidation, or improvement.
- Goal #4: Create a framework for the Town's Capital Plan and debt service in accordance with the Debt Management Policy.
Read more: Facilities Master Plan Flyer
Joint Facilities Committee
Town of Suffield
- Bill Hawkins
Director of Planning & Development
- Kimberly Rogers
- Chris Matejek
Director of Public Works
Suffield Public Schools
- Timothy Van Tasel
- William Hoff
- Larry Plano
Director of Facilities
Boards & Commissions
- Chris Childs
Board of Finance
- Michael Stevens
Advisory Commission on Capital Expenditures
- Brian Baril
Permanent Building Commission
- Melissa Finnigan
Board of Education
Learn more about the existing conditions and future needs of our schools.
- Parents! Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour during Open House (use the Open House flyer to guide you)
- Click on the Summary of Walkthrough Tour for a quick look!
- Listen to the Video Narratives of each building, bite-size and easily digestible!
- Video missing? Check back soon - more will be added in the near future.
A. Ward Spaulding School
McAlister Intermediate School
Suffield Middle School
Learn more about the existing conditions and future needs of our town buildings.
- Click on the Summary of Walkthrough Tour for a quick look!
- Listen to the Video Narratives of each building, bite-size for easy-listening!
- Video missing? Check back soon - more will be added in the near future.
Q & A
Do you have a question about the Facilities Master Plan?
Submit your question via email (click here). We'll get back to you shortly and include the answer to your question here for the benefit of all of our residents.
- Answers to questions related to School Enrollment Projections
- How will PCBs be handled from a cost and removal standpoint?
- Can American Rescue Plan funds be applied to any part of the work identified in the master plan?
- Clarification on maximum allowable area table as presented by Tecton Architects on 6-14-21
- Clarification regarding site safety, security and investments already made by the town in this area
- Will the High School receive the same level of review and analysis?
- Criticism regarding community engagement and only have one tour date
Answers to questions related to School Enrollment Projections
Suffield Public Schools Enrollment Projections 2021, SLR
- Did MMI/SLR have or look at any data related to in-migration of families with students since 2017-18 birth data? Curious if there are families moving in since that time that would not show up in the birth projections.
In-migration is analyzed as part of our persistency ratios on Slide 20. Historically, Suffield sees low levels of net in-migration (more students moving in than moving out). Typically, in-migration is greatest in the lower elementary grades. Between 2017-18 and 2019-20, Suffield has seen close to net zero migration, with equal numbers of students moving in and out. Like most districts, Suffield experienced negative net-migration in 2020-21, which was driven largely by the pandemic.
- Slide 3 – Would like to understand what was happening in DRGs pre-covid to compare, assuming they have this data. It appears as if COVID had little affect on the enrollment in Suffield.
With the exception of Ellington, all peer DRG C schools in Hartford County saw PK-12 enrollments decrease between 2015-16 and 2019-20. 2020-21 saw a greater decrease than would have been predicted otherwise. Suffield comparatively did not experience as great of a decrease this year.
- Slide 4 – Last bullet, any reason given for growth from 8th to 9th? Less students to private or magnets? Vo-Ag program?
Growth between 8th and 9th grade is driven by the Vo-Ag program.
- Slide 6 – Largest increase in sales, any data/demographics on who is moving in and who is moving out? What percent are new builds versus existing housing stock turnover?
There is no way to obtain demographic data on who is moving into and out of the community. Over the last five years, Suffield has averaged about 30 single-family permits per year and 155 single-family sales per year. New construction would equate to about 20% of all sales.
- Slide 9 – Was housing permit data not available for 2019 and 2020?
There were 30 permits recorded in 2019 according to DECD. However, this data is preliminary and does not break out single-family vs. multi-family permits. DECD has not published permit data for 2020.
- Slide 10 – What ratio was used to determine the amount of students/unit? Other slides state it is accounted for, but the ratio should be identified. Are there any other multi-unit housing or subdivisions projects in the planning approval process? Any planned changes to zoning use or overlays that would increase residential units? Any planned affordable housing units?
The number of students per unit was not calculated for each new development. This is only done when housing growth is not accounted for in the baseline projections and enrollment needs to be added using “enrollment multipliers.” The baseline persistency ratios (slide 20) account for the various external factors affecting enrollments, including new residential development. The persistency ratios assume that the Town adds between 30 and 60 units each year.
The Planning and Development Department did not indicate any other housing developments besides those stated in the PowerPoint nor did they note any planned changes to zoning that may impact student enrollments. The Town is currently updating its Plan of Conservation and Development, which may provide guidance on where future housing growth is likely to occur. This Plan is in progress, and no information is available at this time.
- Slide 12 – Observation that PK-2 is amazingly level and predicted to remain so.
Yes, it has been.
- Slide 13 – Student withdrawal chart seems to be inconsistent, where are these children going?
Student withdrawals cover SPS students who move to a non-SPS school from year to year. This could result from a student moving out of Suffield; students who remain in Suffield and enroll in a private, parochial, or magnet school; or students who are home schooled. It is not uncommon for a district to see 5% or more of its student body withdraw in any given year. Students withdrawing from SPS are offset by new students moving in, resulting in no change in net-migration on a typical year.
Typically, very few students withdraw for homeschool. There was a notable uptick in 2020-21 due to the pandemic. The difference between these students and other withdrawn students is that there is a likelihood that most of these students will return to SPS for the 2021-22 school year.
- Slide 14 – Is general population increasing in Suffield? Did they analyze population by age group and compare to previous years, in other words, is the town getting younger, older, or the same?
According to the latest Census estimates, Suffield’s total population has stayed stable since 2010. Suffield’s median age is higher than Hartford County as a whole. However, the median age has stayed stable since 2010 indicating that the community is neither aging or getting younger. The official 2020 decennial census population counts should be released later this year and may provide greater clarity to this question.
- Slide 18 – Same question as Slide 10 – ratio for housing & multi-unit housing
See answer to question 6. The persistency ratios assume that the Town adds between 30 and 60 units each year. These were not calculated for each individual housing development.
- Slide 19 – Should first bullet be 33 students? Last bullet – what is the maximum amount VoAg program can accept by grade level? Would like to understand the reason for the withdrawal numbers in the PK-8 and if they should/could show up in the projections.
The only student withdrawals that are likely to show up in the projections are homeschool withdrawals. It is normal for districts to experience 5% student withdrawals any given year. Most of these students move out of Town or enroll in private or magnet schools. The high number of homeschool withdrawals in the elementary and intermediate school grades are accounted for in our projections. Out of the 33 students that withdrew for homeschooling, we are assuming that 32 of them return next school year. Homeschool withdrawals in the middle and high school grades were not substantially different than those seen in 2019-20 and thus were not added back in.
District to provide the maximum enrollment in the Vo-Ag program.
How will PCBs be handled from a cost and removal standpoint?
Tecton does not have hazardous material testing in their scope but have identified items believed to contain ACM (Asbestos containing materials) such as floor and ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, exterior transite panels, etc.
Note: The strategy for testing and dealing with PCBs has evolved over the last several years and the state has taken various different positions on this topic. Tecton's recommendation is to allocate removal costs for areas expected to contain PCBs in the budget based upon when the building was originally constructed and table the testing until the work in the field is ready to commence. This can discuss in further detail if need be.
Can American Rescue Plan funds be applied to any part of the work identified in the master plan?
Clarification on maximum allowable area table as presented by Tecton Architects on 6-14-21
The tables generated are intended to provide a benchmark comparison to CT state standards. In some cases, albeit fewer examples over the last several years, the town can apply for a “space allocation waiver” justifying the reason for the additional square footage. If this waiver is approved, the additional square footage over the allowable maximum will be eligible for reimbursement. It is important for the community to understand this key metric as it has a direct impact on total project costs and the total reimbursement the town may receive should they decide to proceed with a grant application for school construction.
Clarification regarding site safety, security and investments already made by the town in this area
The items identified in our report are intended to supplement existing safety and security measures the schools have already implemented. The juxtaposition of the schools to community parks/amenities makes the definition of the school property challenging. Access control, visual surveillance and additional environmental improvements (such as plantings, fencing, and signs) are recommended to provide additional layers of safety and/or separation between the schools and existing adjacent uses. The town will need to comply with the school safety and infrastructure guidelines as a part of any project applying for grant reimbursement.
Will the High School receive the same level of review and analysis?
The high school has been analyzed in a similar fashion to the other schools and recommendations for both the findings of the existing conditions analysis and programming review will be included in the report and part of the overall master plan. Although it is the newest of the school buildings, it is nearly 20 years old and there are several areas of the building that will require attention to provide proper preventative maintenance and to extend its useful life.
Criticism regarding community engagement and only have one tour date
The original plan was to have multiple tour dates but due to conflicting events on the community calendar the choice was to proceed with the one open date identified. There will be several opportunities for the community to participate and offer input via surveys, additional public forums in the fall, and we are looking into the possibility of “pop up” displays at various different community events such as the farmers market, summer concert series, etc. Additionally, and as presented, a website/webpage has been started and will contain all of the information, presentations, and feedback as it develops. The comment is a good one, and the team will work with the town to identify other opportunities for engagement.
Do you have a question about any of our Sidewalk Projects?
Submit your question to Town Engineer.
Mountain Road Multi-Use Trail
Mapleton & Thompsonville Sidewalk
Traffic & Pedestrian Safety
The Board of Selectmen formed the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and Infrastructure Committee on December 16, 2020 with the following charge:
"To evaluate and make recommendations to the Board of Selecmen addressing pedestrian and traffic safety and infrastructure needs town-wide in a comprehensive way that will allow the Town to plan for expenditures and other actions."
Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and Infrastructure Committee
Townwide Traffic Study Consultant: Tighe & Bond