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3 Steps to Improve Campus Master Planning

When it comes to creating a successful campus master plan, there’s one dealbreaker that cannot be overlooked: strategic preparation. Rather than leaping into action with no oversight, school leaders must craft a solid foundation to guide all actions.

Allow OMNIA Partners to be an integral part of your campus planning process through Gordian's cooperative contract. 

For higher education leaders embarking on a master planning initiative, it’s important to focus efforts on understanding objectives and the overall institutional vision. As a leader yourself, you play a core role in understanding what your organization can do programmatically, but most importantly, financially.

Unsure as to where to start? These three steps can help you prioritize initiatives and build a stronger foundation for your campus master plan:

1. Identify the Information You Need to Be a Knowledgeable Campus Master Planning Partner

The first step in this process is to have a firm grasp on the strategic objectives for the institution. Evaluate what’s been done in the past, analyze the results of those efforts and make sure everyone is clear about the institution’s financial position. What resources do you have and what’s your investment capacity? What political forces may potentially influence the plan? How will you incorporate and manage those influences?

Gordian and OMNIA Partners offer assessment options to help guide their customers’ master planning process.

2. Gather Existing Information and Determine Data Gaps

After step one, you have a long list of everything you need to provide your master planning team. Gather all the existing information and determine what you don’t yet have. Often, within a facilities organization, the most critical missing component in the “planning to plan” phase is an objective assessment of current conditions and an analysis on available financial resources to address them.

A successful, well-informed master plan begins with this analysis. This base then allows the institution to move into a more strategic discussion on how institutional priorities and investment criteria shape future project selection and investments to drive master planning decisions. A master plan absent of this context becomes markedly more difficult to realize and will be constructed on a shaky foundation.

3. Assess Campus Conditions

Initiate an assessment process that provides a thorough understanding of current campus conditions and needs.

This process may include:

  • Collecting data on building system renewal need, including any existing deferred maintenance studies.
  • Performing a field assessment that involves walking through all campus buildings and taking an inventory of what’s there, as well as the general condition of all MEP system types, interior finishes, exterior facades and other relevant systems.
  • Engaging with the facilities staff and other people in charge of maintaining the campus to understand their priorities and capture their unique knowledge of the conditions.
  • Conducting interviews with Residential Life and other designated department heads or institutional leaders to gather a complete picture of how the existing campus facilities are performing.

A Solid Foundation for Campus Master Planning

The information mined from these activities should be used to prioritize building portfolio needs and establish a strategic framework for linking today’s investment realities with future campus aspirations. This understanding can then be used to channel the planners’ creativity into the areas that must be addressed in the master plan, whether that’s reinvesting in existing needs, removing certain buildings or building new. 

The goal at this stage of the planning process is to develop scenarios that are fully informed by an extensive knowledge of existing circumstances and prevailing trends.

**Read the original blog from Gordian HERE.

About Gordian and OMNIA Partners 

Gordian’s expertise is primarily in government, public sector, and non-profit industries. Building and infrastructure management in these industries includes adhering to numerous regulatory requirements from planning through operations and managing portfolios diverse in function and age. Together, OMNIA Partners and Gordian offer public agencies solutions to complex needs through a competitively solicited and publicly awarded cooperative contract. As your ally in the purchasing process, OMNIA Partners is dedicated to optimizing procurement for your organization. Your free membership provides full access to our portfolio of value-driven contracts, spend visibility, analytics, and subject matter experts. Join thousands of members who are discovering a better way to buy.


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