1. What is being built?
Our new Elementary School building will be three floors high, with a rooftop playspace and an open area on the ground floor to be used, in the short term, as a reception area for parents and students. This building will also contain an unfinished basement to be completed at a later date. Adding in the unfinished basement now opens up the option in the future for many possibilities for that space, including a language center or music rooms.
The numerous benefits to constructing this new building include:
Significantly larger classrooms (current ES classrooms are 40 square meters; new ES classrooms will be 60 square meters)
Wider stairways and hallways to promote our partnership with families
More meeting space available for language support, EAL, and teacher collaboration
All EAL, Learning Support, and core ES classrooms under one roof
An increase of overall campus square meters by 46%
Freeing up of space in the current ES building to meet MS/HS needs and allow for removal of the existing temporary Math modules
2. Why do we need a new Elementary School building?
The current Elementary School building is modular in construction and, therefore, has a limited useful life. In eight to ten years the building will need to be removed, so we have to begin now to create the space that will be necessary in the future. The new ES Building is actually Phase I of a larger campus improvement plan.
3. If this is just an Elementary building, how will the MS/HS benefit from this?
The new ES Building will increase our overall campus square meters by 46%, meaning that there will be more room for all our students. The old Elementary School building will be freed up, and MS/HS students will be able to utilize some of this space. Additionally, it is important to preserve the legacy of our children (and of your school) into the future. BFIS will always be home to your children, and we need to make sure we continue to be a top-ranked international school into the future, including revitalizing our infrastructure and optimizing our space for maximum learning potential..
4. How much will the construction project cost and how is it being financed?
Total cost of the project will be approximately 3.1 million euros and is being funded by a 2.4 million euro bank loan, Capital Fund fees paid by new families, fundraising, and a two-year extraordinary Campus Improvement Fee of 500 euros per student per year over two years. To help support the project please click here.
5. Is there any state/government funding for this project?
No, BFIS receives no significant funding from any government organization, and the building project is entirely financed by the school and school community.
6. How long will the construction take?
Even though the start of construction was delayed by a month due to unexpected financing and licensing issues, we are still on schedule to open the new building in September 2016, barring any other unanticipated delays.
7. Will construction be disruptive to students and faculty?
While we are doing everything we can to limit the impact of the project on the day-to-day life of students and faculty – and we intentionally scheduled the excavation phase of the work for the summer holidays – the reality of any construction work is that it will sometimes be noisy, dirty, and disruptive. We thank you all in advance for your flexibility and understanding as we move forward on constructing the first purpose-built building in the school’s history!
8. Is the school going to increase enrollment?
No, the purpose of the new construction is not to increase enrollment but rather to improve our learning environment for our student body. We fully understand that our small class size and individualized attention are qualities that make BFIS unique in Barcelona, and we intend to maintain the essential relationship-based, community sense of the school. With this year’s enrollment of around 680 students, we have reached capacity at most grade levels.
9. How will parking near campus be affected?
During the construction period parking spaces will be lost along Carrer Santissima Trinitat del Mont. In an effort to have the minimum impact possible on traffic flow, construction vehicles will not be permitted to circulated at the beginning or end of the school day. We have also reached out to the local authorities to request their support in mitigating traffic issues during the school year. We encourage our families to consider using our bus service this year during construction. Please click here to see bus fees and sign up. Another option is to drop your children, assuming age appropriateness, at Plaza Boras and have them walk up the ramp, alleviating the need to enter the neighborhood streets or find a parking spot. One additional idea if you need to part is to use the paid lot at the university (IQS) two blocks below on Via Augusta.
10. How will the campus and the community be notified of construction-related news such traffic detours, closed off areas of the campus, etc.?
Our electronic newsletter, The BFIS Weekly, will continue to be the primary source of all school information, so please be sure to take time to read through it for updated information each week. The BFIS Weekly is sent out every Monday and past issues can be found archived on our website. If you are not receiving the Weekly, please contact email@example.com
11. What safety measures have been taken?
The construction site is completely isolated from campus by fencing and construction wall, and unaccompanied workers are not allowed on campus at any time. We have increased campus security to ensure that construction will be monitored at all times.
12. What hours will construction take place?
In order to meet our aggressive deadline of opening the building for the start of the 2016-17 school year, construction teams will be working double shifts each day.
13. How can I support the project or get more involved?
In a diverse community such as BFIS, there are many unknown or untapped resources that could contribute positively to this project and to future endeavors. If you have expertise or resources you could share in the areas of construction, materials, technology, interior design, furniture, etc., please contact Head of School, Bill Knauer, or any Foundation Board member at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, as a non-profit institution with no government funding, BFIS relies on your generosity to bridge the gap between our aspirations and the financial realities of our budget. To support People, Place, or Programs, please contribute to the BFIS Fund today.
14. Whom should I contact if I have any additional questions?
Please contact Head of School, Bill Knauer, or Foundation Board President, Alexis Pesquin, at email@example.com, if you have any questions.
This page will be regularly updated with the latest queries.