By Brent Dammann, AIA, VP - Architect January 12, 2021
At its core, long-range planning is about hope. It’s about seeing a better future for your organization, creating long term goals, and developing action plans. You have hope for better days ahead—but do you have a long-range facility plan for your school?
Planning can be challenging, especially when overcoming today’s challenges of “safe” public meeting alternatives, availability of participants, and their access to remote meeting technology. But it’s important enough to work at overcoming those hurdles rather than dealing with the consequences later. Without a good plan in place, buildings could fall into disrepair, unexpected and costly repairs could arise, and resources may be put toward lower priority projects, ultimately leading to negative impacts on enrollment and a drop in state funding. But with the right tools and information, you can develop a plan that leads your school into a hopeful future.
The first step is to understand your current buildings and systems. What works? What can be improved? A facility assessment helps:
Once these things are determined, decisions can be made on how to prioritize needs and how to fund them. Is a referendum needed, or can improvements be made in smaller increments, project-by-project? Widseth has helped dozens of school districts through both scenarios.
Baxter Elementary School was completed as part of the district’s long-term plan in conjunction with the referendum that passed in 2018.
The most successful referenda are community driven. Voters are more likely to support an information campaign that is organized by a group of dedicated parents and school supporters working together to disseminate useful, fact-based, clear communications about the district’s needs and funding avenues. Widseth knows just the kind of information, illustrations, videos, and digital communications to provide to diverse groups to meet with success. We can help you develop a plan and supporting materials from start to finish, including:
Many of our client school districts have used other methods of funding their projects, rather than going out for a referendum. Our experienced team can assist with the following:
With a promising outlook and a long-range plan on your mind, let’s start a conversation about your school’s future.