Checklist for Pre-Planning Rural School Facilities by Bob Valiant

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Rural school administrators and School Boards face a daunting task when they take on the challenge of planning for facility improvements or replacement. Few, if any, will have done this type of work before, especially on such a large scale. Since this kind of planning is very specialized, the Superintendent and the Board often find themselves at the mercy of the professional planners they hire. It is the intention of the author to provide some help to small-school administrators in educating the district�s planning team and in setting the stage before the architect is hired. It is hoped that the reader will find the checklist provided below to be a useful tool in this process.

CHECKLIST

1. Is the needed expertise available within the staff or among the school patrons?
_____Yes
_____No

If no, where can we get it?

What are some of the training needs of the planning team?

2. Does the District have a �Strategic Plan�?
_____Yes
_____No

If yes, does it speak to facilities either directly or indirectly?
_____Yes
_____No

Describe:

3. Are documents available that describe the District’s programs (curriculum, co-curriculum, etc.)?
_____Yes
_____No

If yes, collect them.

4. Does a long-range facility plan exist?
_____Yes
_____No

If yes, collect it.

5. Are there any recent studies of building conditions, enrollment trends, technology, etc.?
_____Yes
_____No

Collect those that are available.

6. Does the community use the school facilities?
_____Yes
_____No

If yes, in what ways and how much?

7. List the age, capacity, and general condition of existing facilities.

8. If all pieces of the data identified above are available, what are the gaps between “Strategic Plan”, program, and facilities?

9. If pieces are missing, design a plan to acquire them.

10. Are there local, state, or federal resources available to help in the planning effort?
What are the requirements to obtain them?

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