School Business Affairs December 2019 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | DECEMBER 2019 23 FINANCE & OPERATIONS when to levy taxes to ensure that funds are available to complete the necessary projects. As you create the annual sched- ule, you and the architect will work backward from the date of the first day of school to fit your timeline. Together you will proceed from conceptual design, through design development, to a set of contract documents. These documents will be used to procure the proper S ome districts have entire departments focused on capital projects and staff dedicated to project man- agement, including creating budgets, overseeing contractors, and even performing some of the work them- selves. Other districts barely have the staff necessary to oversee the preventative maintenance of district facilities. Whether yours is a large, sophis- ticated district with a robust facility department or a small district with nothing more than a maintenance staff, an architect can be immeasur- ably valuable. From conceptual planning and design to emergency evacuation plans and replacement cost analysis, most architectural firms offer myriad services that are only loosely connected to what some would consider “architecture.” Planning Ahead Few districts build new schools or construct additions every year; therefore, the supplementary ser- vices an architect can provide will be the bedrock of the relationship and the basis of interaction year after year. One of the most important docu- ments that you can create with your architect is your district’s annual schedule based on the master plan. Working together to create this schedule keeps the district and the architect on track for planning next year’s projects and ensuring that this year’s projects do not disrupt stu- dent learning. The long-range plan will guide you in answering board of educa- tion questions about the budget for future expenditures or seeking guidance on large capital projects, as well as annual maintenance. The school board will know how and Working with Architects— Beyond the Architecture Architectural firms offer myriad services that are only loosely connected to what some would consider “architecture.” By Stephen Chassee One of the most important documents districts create with architects is a master plan.