College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Facilities MANAGING A SSE TS Outside Counts, Too! Responsibility for campus facilities extends well beyond building walls. BY PIETER VAN DER HAV E Y ou have recently accepted the position of associate VP/ FM position at a brand new, privately funded university. The location is near a small town in the western U.S. where the climate can be hostile, and where in a single 24-hour period there can be temperature swings of up to 40°F. These swings can be devastating if they are not considered early in the planning process. You requested and received a copy of all documentation pertaining to the initial master plan for the campus. The new university, named the University of Wannaby, will start off as a small four-year institution. Most of the initial master planning for a half dozen buildings has already been completed, showing relationships and distances among them. You checked out the local building codes. You feel comfortable compiling a list of talking points to discuss when you meet with major stakeholders, primarily to begin planning out the exterior site. Your list intends to clarify: Curb appeal. Do we want first-time visitors to fall in love with our campus the first time they see it? Are we going to design exclusively for beauty or will we mix in a great deal of practicality? Will we be able to maintain a reasonable amount of attractiveness during periods of extreme drought or after any budget cuts? Landscaping. Do we want to use local vegetation in a creative way? Many institutions tend to rely on landscaping characteristics that are non-native to their locale, increasing O&M costs. This decision will affect the need and design of irrigation systems and, ultimately, water consumption. Water features (fountains, ponds). Are we going to have one or more on the campus? Retention/detention basins. Local ordinances require them for stormwater management. Where will we place them; do we use them as landscape features, reusing any water captured for irrigation purposes? Security and safety in landscape design. We must ensure our students' safety with smart landscape design, eliminating places for perpetrators to hide in behind trees and bushes. Building visibility. Will the buildings be attractive so that we will never want to hide them behind large trees? Simultaneously, we will want to maintain a sense of scale. Utilities. Will we be able to place them in tunnels, providing easier access for maintenance and repairs, and minimizing disruption of the landscaping? 12 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MARCH 2013 Pedestrian walks. Do we develop plans upfront for all the walks? Students tend to define their own paths as they cross the campus. Consideration might be given to letting "goat paths" happen, not installing all walks during the first several years. Regardless, accommodations must be made for ADA compliance. Benches and waste receptacles. What style, number, and locations? Do we hold off until the walks are well defined? Do we keep them off walks that will require snow removal? Use of sidewalks. Will we allow institutional or private vehicles on pedestrian walks (other than firefighting equipment)? Bike paths. Do we encourage the use of bicycles to/on campus? Will we plan for separate paths, segregating pedestrians from riders? How about skateboards, etc.? Parking lots. How wide are we going to make the stalls and the drive lanes? We should avoid hammerheads at the ends of rows, and avoid planting any vegetation between rows. What will be the ratio of spots to population? Parking lot lights. Shall we install efficient high-pressure sodium, making them "dark sky" friendly, installing them such that they are serviceable even while the lot is full? Snow removal. Will all walks requiring snow removal be wide and thick enough to handle small trucks and tractors with blades? Locations for dumpsters and recycling bins. Will we design each of the buildings with loading docks and locations for dumpsters that are accessible to all types of service vehicles? Community use and interaction. Will we allow or encourage the surrounding community to think of our campus as their neighborhood park? Will our theater be used for student activities only, or will it also host activities open to the general public? Emergency phones. How many will we have and where will we locate them? You will surprise the leadership and the funding source(s) with some of these questions. You will be the oracle with a wellprepared list, similar to this one. Even if you are not moving to a new campus, items on this list still deserve consideration on any existing campus where you lead senior management. It's always up to you! CPM Pete van der Have is a retired facilities management professional and is currently teaching university-level FM classes as well as doing independent consulting. He can be reached at WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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