School Business Affairs May 2019

12 MAY 2019 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS FORECASTING & PLANNING N ext to staffing, facilities often represent a school district’s second-largest expense. Yet historically we have not planned for them the same way—or at least I hadn’t. Staffing plans are generally very strategic, sometimes even surgical. They involve metrics and strategies designed to channel funding to posi- tions that provide the best value in supporting the instructional vision of the district, while also main- taining equity within the confines of a budget. In contrast, traditional facility planning and management focus on efficient operations, reaction to external survey “hot topics,” responsiveness to internal survey wants and needs, a “little some- thing for everyone” mentality, and predominantly cost. As my career evolved to include oversight of operations and con- struction, I sought a different approach—one that looked for Beyond the Traditional: Engaging in Strategic Facilities Planning Districts should take a more strategic path toward planning facilities. By John Hutchison, CPA, MBA, SFO Olathe Public Schools’ Canyon Creek Elementary School was built to accommodate a growing student population. PHOTOS COURTESY OF OLATHE (KANSAS) PUBLIC SCHOOLS.