Administrators were aware that the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School (HSTS) needed repairs and upgrades. However, they were lacking a long-range facility planning report, for which they contracted BAISCA.
The school first opened in 1957 and later closed in 1969 due to court-ordered integration of public schools. In 2000, with funds from the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the tribe established a charter school in the same building as the earlier tribal school. Focused on the Haliwa-Saponi culture, this new school expanded in space and enrollment over time, and by 2007 served grades K–12.
HSTS was also curious whether funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) —established as part of the education stabilization component of the CARES Act — could be utilized to fund some of the improvements.
The BAISCA team collected data, conducted in-person interviews with school staff and tribal leadership, and conducted a walk-through of the site and buildings. The resulting report organizes individual facility needs in terms of size and scope, prioritization, and associated cost estimates.
BAISCA provided a roadmap for long-range facilities planning for HSTS. The report identified that the greatest issue faced by HSTS is space. Long-term facility planning should include additional square footage for additional classrooms, athletic programs, student assemblies, learning resources, administration, and storage.
- Current enrollment for HSTS: 161 students
- HSTS average amount of space per student: 104 square feet
- Average amount of space per student in nearby school systems: 217 to 330 square feet
In the report, BAISCA recommended capital improvement projects to be considered for the ESSER grant application. ESSER funds may be able to address immediate concerns related to overcrowding, ventilation, and replacement of flooring.
Additionally, the report was designed to help begin a conversation with the school board, the tribal council, and the broader community about the future of the school and level of new construction needed to meet the needs of children in coming years. BAISCA identified important questions to develop a common vision for the future of the school.