You are on page 1of 12


Comprehensive Facility Design: Southern College

MSG James V. Southern
Southern New Hampshire University
April 16, 2015

Author Note


This paper was prepared for EDU-760, taught by Dr. Suzanne Natividad.Comprehensive
Facility Design: Southern College
School facility designs are much more flexible today than they were in the past based on
innovations in construction material and methods as well as advancements in architectural
practices. Additionally, economic constraints have necessitated the use of expensive school
building as dual purpose community centers (McLaughlin & Faulkner, 2012). However, the type
of unified fiscal commitment required to undertake a project such as this still takes considerable
planning and cooperation from a multitude of parties. The plan contained herein is representative
of the type that may be used to provide clarity to the process and gain buy-in from the
The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive design concept for a higher
education institution that includes a facility design, maintenance plan, and safe school plan all
linked to fiscal year budget. A brief mission statement, vision, and learning philosophy is
provided up front in order to provide direction for developing goals in each of the areas of focus.
The plan will be developed around a hypothetical satellite campus to the University of California
system of schools that will be referred to as Southern College and located on twenty
undeveloped acres near Silicon Valley. This plan assumes that strategic budget considerations
have been carried out by the parent University which adequately accounts for new facility
construction costs; therefore, an annual operating budget will be the only proposal included as a
part of this plan.
Vision Statement
To be the regional center of excellence for 21st century education, community enrichment,
and technology-based workforce improvement.
Mission Statement



The mission of Southern College is to provide quality student-centered learning in an

innovative village-like environment that empowers citizens to reach the limits of their potential
in an ever changing global connected community. In order to achieve this mission, the college
forecasts the following program needs subject to community stakeholder review and approval:
Degree granting programs in the fields of technology, science, engineering, leadership,

business and linguistics.

Technical certifications geared toward high-demand job skills in the community.
A program for continuing education that reflects community political, economic, social, and

cultural interests.
Community-centered lifelong learning opportunities that enrich the lives of local citizens and

the region.
Service oriented programs that are directly linked to local industries and cultural centers in

order to remain relevant and flexible according to the changing needs of the community.
Teacher development programs designed to enrich professional growth and maintain pace
with evolving needs.
Learning Philosophy
The learning philosophy of Southern College is one of student-centered education aligned

with the needs of the community and designed around diversity, accessibility, and excellence.
School Facility Design
Planning and collaboration were crucial in developing a facility design that accurately
reflects the community, supports child-specific education, and creates a safe environment for
learning (Tanner & Lackney, 2006). Other variables such as population and demographics of the
school and the community were also be considered, as well as how the school can best serve the
community and vice versa. In 1998, architects at the National Symposium on School Design
came up with six design principles necessary for 21st century schools:
Involve all stakeholders in planning as well as the design process.
Schools must be centers of the community.
Provide for the needs of all learners and enrich both teaching and learning.
Insure the health, safety, and security of staff and students.
Be flexible enough to respond to changing needs.



Effectively utilize all available resources.

The proposed school facility design for Southern College leaned heavily on each of these
principles by working closely, from the very beginning to the end, with a conglomerate of
stakeholders from student organizations, community leaders, local industry executives,
neighborhood groups, and regional government officials, as well as teachers and administrators
from the university.
The college reflects the community in both architectural design and construction
materials as well as educational philosophy and programs offered. Silicon Valley represents the
global heart of cutting edge cyber-technology and, according to the Silicon Valley Index, in 2014
the local technology industry held 79% of total California venture capital investments and 39%
nationwide. Therefore, the physical construction of the school facility mirrors that of the
indigenous cyber industry with expansive open spaces with glass walls overlooking green
common areas. Interior fittings are of modern brushed chrome and stone interlaced with brightly
colored ceramic and plastic furnishings to stimulate creativity and innovation. State of the art
computer science and engineering laboratories are linked to classrooms via T3 high-speed closed
network and mobile wide fidelity platforms. Students have access to virtual research systems
located within the laboratories anywhere on campus. Industry pioneers have shown considerable
interest in large monetary grants for the purpose of furthering research and development
opportunities made possible by the facilities.
The school supports child specific education in several ways; staff development,
classroom adaptability, curriculum modifications, and special support programs. The first step to
properly implement child specific education is to identify who needs support and what type of
support is required. It is not always immediately apparent why a student is not performing well,
or how they could perform better. Through rigorous staff development, teachers will become
much more attuned to identifying potential needs within their classrooms and be better equipped


to implement solutions. Classrooms will be constructed and equipped in a manner that facilitates
rapid adjustments to the physical space in order to enable teachers to adapt to changing student
needs. Curriculum development will follow a dynamic methodology with enough flexibility to
modify content, processes, and products as necessary in order to meet the needs of all students.
And finally, the department of student affairs will establish a team of specially trained staff who
will develop and administer appropriate student/staff support programs designed to help facilitate
curriculum modifications, accommodations, and training.
Southern College supports a safe environment for learning by insuring site survey
planning accounts for potential environmental hazards such as ground and air pollutants,
spillways, and excess moisture. Air quality is maintained at high levels through the use of high
efficiency HVAC and filtration systems monitored electronically, while natural ventilation and
lighting are incorporated into the facility design throughout the school in order to maximize
health conditions and the learning environment.
People and diversity are the driving force behind the success of Silicon Valleys products,
services, and innovative spirit. Drawn to the region by the computer industry, nearly 40% of the
population is foreign born. Of those, 21% emigrated from Mexico, while the remainder come
from several Asian speaking countries to include China, Vietnam, Philippines, and India.
Ethnically, the area is comprised of 36% White (non-Hispanic), 31% Asian (non-Hispanic), and
26% Latino and Hispanic. Population ages are evenly distributed among four group, 25% twenty
and under, 28% twenty to thirty-nine, 29% forty to fifty-nine, and 18% sixty and over. Education
levels vary with 20% attaining a graduate or profession al degree, 26% with a Bachelors degree,
25% with some college, 15% high school graduates, and 13% less than high school (Silicon
Valley Index, 2014). This demographic composition provides a certain degree of evidence to
support the college mission.



The school can serve the community by offering courses that increase the local industry
talent pool at the entry, intermediate and executive levels. Based on the high number of foreign
born emigrants, the school can offer English courses taught by native speakers of Chinese,
Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Additionally, the science, engineering, and technology
laboratories as well as conference and performing arts centers can be made available to the
community as dual purpose facilities.
The community can serve the school in a number of ways. Industry leaders can support
seminars with guest speakers and lecturers, while investing resources and knowledge to research
and development initiatives. Local residents can support the school by attending adult learning
classes, performances, and other events. Local businesses can support students and future hires
by volunteering for intern programs and employment seminars. And finally, the community can
best support the school by simply making it their own and continually providing feedback and
recommendations for improvement.
School Fiscal Year Budget/Facility Maintenance Plan
It is essential to involve the community in nearly all phases of the budget process in order to
achieve responsible accountability and buy-in. Hard-earned dollars are very important to the
public and can become the one issue that will turn the community against the school if not
handled properly. Therefore, a process had been put into place to introduce the budget to the
community. First, a council must be established that comprise vested representation from
members of the community to include government, industry, students, residents, school
administrators, and teachers. Regular meeting should be held to review the budget process as it is
being developed so that council has an opportunity to ask questions and provide input. Second,
well publicized community forums must be held that give the entire community an opportunity
to understand school priorities, revenue streams, and expenditures. The community council
should be responsible for gaining a deep understanding of the process and be prepared to answer



questions from those that they represent among the community. Principle staff and school
representatives directly responsible for the budget process should be available and prepared to
answer difficult concerns, record areas of contention, and willing to make adjustments where
necessary. In the end, a community that has had an opportunity to be involved in the process at
every phase will be more likely to support a budget at the approval stage.
Goals should firmly establish where the school is heading and should directly reflect the
communitys needs. The budget process is one of very few windows that allow the community to
get a peek at the future of their school. During community forums, it will be necessary to clearly
articulate how the schools goals are aligned with the budget and to establish an understanding of
how the proposed budget will help to achieve the goals. Again, given the opportunity to provide
input in establishing goals that are representative of community needs is the best way to insure
that the public will support the budget; it is their school, their goals, and their money.
The most significant financial challenge facing the school is revenue from tuition. Tuition
revenue accounts for 15% of the total based on a five year analysis of similar schools (see
Appendix A). It is estimated to take at least one year to fill to capacity and that is a generous
estimate considering many small colleges are being forced to close their doors due to dropping
enrollments caused by a lackluster economy. The second major challenge is length of time it may
take for accreditation and its dependence on state and federal funding. Revenue from state and
federal sources account for nearly 28% of total revenue according to financial analysis of past
budgets. And, the third major challenge facing the budget is pending changes to federal
legislation to provide free tuition for two year colleges. This would mean an influx of enrollment
and subsequent expenses without additional federal funding to cover the increase in cost.
The long-range building maintenance plan begins with a comprehensive inventory of school
resources as they are being installed. All warranty information should be maintained and
periodically reviewed to reduce unnecessary maintenance and repair cost included in the



warranty. All inventory items should be documented and programmed into a monthly, quarterly,
semiannual and annual inspection regimen that includes a systematic process for evaluating
condition and serviceability (Kennedy, 2012). Additionally, periodic inspections should feed into
long-term life-cycle planning in order to predict routine replacement costs into the budget rather
than face unexpected costs due to lack of planning. A maintenance infrastructure should be
developed using new and efficient technology designed to monitor major systems with
automated analysis and reporting of operating data for record keeping purposes and preventative
maintenance. Finally, maintenance personnel should receive professional development training
to improve overall capability and should be included in facility operations meeting to insure
continuity of maintenance needs and appropriate changes to the budget.
The maintenance supervisor is an integral member of the staff and will brief the
maintenance budget to college president, board of directors, community council members, and
student body leaders during all forums that address the school budget. The supervisor should
establish a clear vision statement for the maintenance department that includes day to day tasks
and is tied directly to the college vision. The vision of Southern College is to be the regional
center of excellence for 21st century education, community enrichment, and technology-based
workforce improvement. Therefore, the maintenance vision must include an element that
incorporates 2st century maintenance of technology based equipment and facilities. In other
words, this plan supports the schools vision by creating engineers, as opposed to mechanics,
who maintain state of the art equipment instead of diesel engines.
Safe School Plan
The safe school plan at Southern College includes elements that address fire safety,
environmental threats, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism. Environmental threats to the health
and safety of students and staff is a primary design consideration in this region of California due
to the likelihood of earthquakes, flooding, and fire (Dorn, 2003). Emergency planning teams are



established that are responsible for developing emergency preparedness plans that include
procedures for prevention, reaction, and post-event recovery. Plans are routinely updated and
rehearsed so that staff and students fully understand actions that must take place in order to
prevent injury. The threat of terrorism and active shooter scenarios are also of concern
considering recent trends. In order to address these issues, the facility design incorporates several
safeguards. Extensive site surveys identified environmental risk factors associated with the area
(Riley & McDaniel, 1998). The final site was located well away from any potential flood plain
and construction materials and final design were both vetted by state and federal inspectors for
sustainability in the event of an earthquake. All plans meet or exceed known disaster mitigation
standards. For physical safety, campus police will monitor closed circuit video of high traffic
areas and access points and will maintain a presence through routine patrols. Entry into facilities
will be strictly controlled with access cards and personal identification numbers. Students and
staff will only be granted access to the buildings that they must work and campus police will
control the central registry. While the campus is accessible to the community 24/7 for dual
purpose activities, they will be required to register with campus police and must sign in when
The most significant challenges involved in the school safe plan is the open campus
environment and continual community activities on campus. A potential barrier to the safe plan is
the inability to control access to common areas. The school plans to meet these challenges by
actively getting to know the local community and supporting their safety by offering threat
awareness training via the campus police. The school may then depend on community awareness
of threats to report potential incidents before they occur. Additionally, campus police will
actively patrol common areas while focusing remote monitoring on high threat areas for



additional layers of protection. Barriers may be alleviated or at least mitigated by establishing an
outer perimeter with access control points that can be activated as threat levels increase.
The design concept for Southern College reflects extensive collaboration with all
stakeholders, specifically within the community, in order to produce a facility design,
maintenance plan, and safe school that fit within the current budget. Educational programs and
the learning environment support the schools vision and mission statements and are mutually
beneficial to the needs of the community. Inclusive working groups, councils, and public forums
provide ample opportunity to link community interest to the budget process, while the
comprehensive maintenance plan insures responsible and long-term facility usage. And finally,
the design concept incorporates a safe school plan that provides an environment that is safe a
secure for both students and community patrons. This design concept is only the first step in a
lengthy process and should be used as the foundation for future planning and collaboration. More
in depth studies and surveys will provide increasingly greater clarity as the process move

2014 Silicon Valley Index: Economy is sizzling, but not for all. (2014, ). PRWeb Newswire.
Dorn, M. (2003). The safe schools plan - does yours meet the new standard? School Planning &
Management, 42(11), 12. Retrieved from:



Education department to host first ever national symposium on school design. (1998, Oct
05). U.S.Newswire. Retrieved from:
Kennedy, M. (2012). Stick with a school maintenance plan. American School &
University, Retrieved from:
McLaughlin, P., & Faulkner, J., (2012). Flexible spaces ... what students expect from university
facilities. Journal of Facilities Management, 10(2), 140-149.
Riley, P., & McDaniel, J. (1998). Safe school plans begin with information gathering. School
Administrator, 55(8), 40. Retrieved from
Tanner, C., & Lackney, J., (2006). Educational Facilities Planning Leadership, Architecture,
and Mangement. Boston: Pearson Education Inc.
Appendix A
Summary of proposed FY2015 Operating Budget for Southern College.