Educational specifications describe the current and future educational activities that a school facility should accommodate and provide a written communication from the owner [or educator] to the design professional. They illustrate briefly and clearly the goals and outcomes, activities to be conducted, the persons to be served, spatial relationships of the program areas, equipment needs, technology needs, and any special considerations.
A committee, composed of teachers, administrators, support staff, special services staff, students, central office personnel, and community members is formed to assist in the development of the educational specifications.
An orientation meeting is held for the committee members to provide an overview of the planning process, project timelines, and their responsibilities. Visioning exercises encourage participants to consider educational delivery, staffing, students, community, and technology well into the future.
Planning Lab #1
Lab #1 is an intensive, two-day work session examining future trends and determining program direction. Participants discuss programmatic and space needs and generate a draft report. DeJONG-RICHTER suggests the district’s design team is present at all planning labs.
Planning Lab #2
Planning lab #2 is another intensive, two-day work session to further edit and refine the draft program & design requirements. This lab incorporates large group work, as well as smaller, breakout group work. Participants resolve space requirements and begin to lay out the facility.
A final report is completed and presented to the Board of Education for review. It contains results of the orientation and visioning session, a compilation of space, program illustrations, and spatial relationship diagrams for each program and the entire facility.
Schematic Design Review
Once the architect develops a schematic design, DeJONG-RICHTER will review it to ensure the educational vision set in the planning labs has been translated to the facility. DeJONG-RICHTER suggests the committee reassemble to discuss the design and review the results of their work.