"Your Voice Matters" to Upper Arlington school leaders, who sent fliers with that title to all school district residents to encourage attendance at the first of several public forums on the facilities master planning process.

"Your Voice Matters" to Upper Arlington school leaders, who sent fliers with that title to all school district residents to encourage attendance at the first of several public forums on the facilities master planning process.

Executive Director of Business Chris Potts said residents are asked to attend one of two public forums, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Upper Arlington High School, 1650 Ridgeview Road, or from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Upper Arlington Board of Education offices, 1950 N. Mallway Drive.

"This initial forum is designed to get people up to speed on the master planning process and give them an opportunity to give us feedback," Potts said. "We will give people a sheet of paper to write about their hopes for this plan and their fears and concerns."

He said all comments will be posted on the district website.

"We want to keep this process completely transparent," Potts said. "We will use the feedback we get to guide the master planning process and to address the concerns people have."

A community advisory committee -- the Efficiency and Productivity Work Team -- recommended the master planning process after studying district finances and operations during the development of the new strategic plan. Considering the average age of district buildings is 60 years, most have "limited capacity for flexibility" in meeting modern educational standards, according to the work team.

Last fall, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission conducted a review of the buildings at no cost to the district.

Potts said the district formed a Facilities Task Force this past winter, which designed a two-year master facilities planning process. The first phase of the three-phase process includes the initial public forums and the formation of facilities research teams at each of the nine school buildings.

"Parents, staff and all community members will be welcome to join the research teams," he said.

Phase two will begin in January, when information from building team reports will be used to identify possible solutions for each school. Potts said the solutions could range from modest maintenance projects to renovations or even replacement. Cost estimates for each option also will be identified.

He said the final phase, expected to start in November 2016, involves community volunteers with financial expertise forming a Financial Advisory Committee to review the recommended solution plan. They would then advise board members on funding options and the timing of implementation.

The Sept. 9 and 10 public forums are just the beginning of community input opportunities, Potts said.

"We will have a total of eight public forums between now and June 2016," he said. "We will always offer one in the evening and one the next morning, to give residents the opportunity to fit a meeting into their schedules."

He said the district wants community input to guide the process.

"People need to understand we have no preconceived plan for our facilities," he said. "We want community feedback and we are inviting the community to get involved because their voices matter."