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Facilities Planning and Construction: Major Projects Design and Approval

A major project is any site development plan or campus master plan that sets future policy regarding capital outlay requests affecting the entire campus, as well as any design project with an anticipated total project cost of $1 million or above. Minor projects may be done directly by the Department of Facilities Planning & Construction with input by a school committee as appropriate.

Flow of Responsibility

There are six main participating groups in the process: a building advisory committee (representing the individual school), the Facilities Master Planning Office (protecting the integrity of the plan), the Facilities Master Plan Review Committee (monitoring and reviewing any major changes to the Facilities Master Plan), Facilities Planning and Construction (FP&C) and its agent, the chosen architect/engineer (implementers of the plan), the board Capital Outlay/Property Committee and the APS Board of Education (representing the interests of APS).

Each group has important roles and responsibilities:

Building Advisory Committee


  1. the school principal
  2. chairperson of the school governing council or designee 
  3. two community representatives, one of which should represent the appropriate neighborhood association.
  4. designated program representative (at the administration's discretion).


  1. provides school-based assistance to Facilities Planning and Construction (and the involved architect).
  2. represents the interests of APS to ensure that the facilities meet curricular requirements.
  3. represents the programmatic needs of the school and the immediate neighborhood surrounding the school.
  4. offers advice and endorsement at three steps: programming, schematic design, and design development.
  5. represents the school should it have irresolvable difficulties at any of the designated steps.

Facilities Planning and Construction Department

  1. establishes and maintains overall design and quality standards (available from Facilities Planning and Construction). All APS facilities (new or renovation) will be designed to be complementary and tie into existing structures, be aesthetically pleasing, and long lasting.
  2. implements the identified projects during planning, design, and construction.
  3. manages selection process for individual architects, landscape architects, and engineers as appropriate (in compliance with Purchasing Code and according to policies established by the Board of Education). The selected design professional is an agent of this office through the duration of the contracted project.

Facilities Master Plan Review Committee

  1. is composed of region superintendents, principals, teachers, and community members.
  2. reviews requests for change to a major or minor project of more than $150,000.

Facilities Master Plan Office

  1. authorizes the obligation of funds for planning, design, and construction of individual projects contained in the Facilities Master Plan.
  2. manages a process for any deviations in the project work regarding planning standards or reallocations of money. This office has the authority to approve administratively any changes up to $150,000.

Capital Outlay/Property Committee

A board committee that reviews and approves major projects presented by the Facilities Planning and Construction.

Board of Education

Approval of all major capital improvements is the ultimate responsibility of the Board of Education.

Procedure Used to Implement a Project

The FP&C Department will initiate the programming and design process. In consultation with the architect, FP&C will develop a project schedule identifying major tasks and associated timeframes. The following process is typical:

Project Kick-Off Meeting

  1. participants - Facilities Planning and Construction, architect, Facilities Master Plan Office, Building Advisory Committee.
  2. tasks - FP&C and the architect will meet with the Building Advisory Committee to discuss the FMP recommendations and budget. The design/review process will be outlined including roles and responsibilities of individual participants. The specific project schedule will be discussed.

Program Development

  1. participants - FP&C, architect, Building Design Advisory Committee, program representatives.
  2. tasks - FP&C and the architect will prepare a facilities program identifying specific project requirements. The program will be developed with input from the following parties:
    1. the Facilities Master Plan Office (FMP recommendations, Facility Guidelines, utilization information, other pertinent information). 
    2. the Building Advisory Committee (curricular and school based input) 
    3. FP&C staff (design standards) 
    4. FP&C has the responsibility of organizing the input from these parties and giving written approval to the architect to proceed with design.

Schematic Design

  1. participants - FP&C, architect, Building Advisory Committee, program representatives.
  2. tasks- FP&C and the architect will prepare a schematic design based on the approved program. The schematic design will be developed with advice and endorsement from the Building Advisory Committee. FP&C will give written approval to proceed to design development.

Design Development

  1. participants - FP&C, architect, Building Advisory Committee, program representatives, Capital Outlay Committee. 
  2. tasks - Based on the approved schematic design, FP&C and the architect will develop the design to the degree that reliable estimates can be made on the design. The design will be presented to the Building Advisory Committee by FP&C for its endorsement. FP&C will then present the design and budget to the Capital Outlay/Property Committee for its recommendation for approval by the Board.

Construction Documents/Bidding

  1. participants - FP&C, architect, Capital Outlay/Property Committee.
  2. tasks - Construction documents will be prepared by FP&C and the architect, and the project put out to bid. The Building Advisory Committee will be kept informed during this process. The bids are presented to the Capital Outlay/Property Committee, which authorizes FP&C to proceed with construction.


  1. participants - FP&C, architect, contractor.
  2. tasks - The construction process will be administered by FP&C and the architect. 

The Building Advisory Committee will be kept informed during this process.

Making Desired Changes and Solving Disagreements

Changes concerning facility standards and/or budget allocations

Any request for substantial changes or deviations from the APS Facilities Master Plan or estimated budget must be petitioned through the Facilities Master Plan, which has the authority to make administrative changes up to $150,000. Request for changes above this amount are heard by the Facilities Master Plan Review Committee.

Disagreements regarding design or curricular issues

It is hoped that design or curricular issues can be mutually rectified during meetings of the Building Advisory Committee or regular administrative channels. If, for some reason, agreement cannot be reached, a request for resolution of the disagreement can be made to the Capital Outlay/Property Committee and to the full Board, as required.

Cross Ref.: Board Policy F.01

NSBA/NEPN Classification: FB

Revised: September 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Reviewed: January 1, 2001