Long-Range Facilities Planning Systems in the New Jersey Public Schools
In response to landmark court cases, the State of New Jersey established an $8.6 billion program for the design, renovation, repair and construction of primary and secondary schools state-wide. The New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation (SCC) was established to implement the overhaul of hundreds of schools in districts throughout all 21 counties of the state.
Under new laws, every school district needed to develop a five-year Long Range Facilities Plan which included an inventory of facilities, identified all facilities requirements, projected capacity and determined the impact on facilities use and requirements. The State DOE needed a system to support the review and approval of district plans and subsequent school construction projects to ensure compliance with state building standards and conformance with educational requirements.
VFA developed a software solution to support the state-wide collection of facilities inventory and requirements information, enable the creation of five-year capital plans for each district, and support review and approval processes. The system integrated the VFA.facility platform for capital planning and facilities management, the Documentum platform for document management and workflow, and the School Construction Corp.’s own internal software applications. Key features included enrollment and capacity planning, workflow and approval tracking, document management, “’what-if” planning and project application submission and tracking.
The state’s 617 school districts, including over 1,000 end users, used the system to develop and submit five-year capital plans for facility care, maintenance and re-investment for 2006-2010. Tools for projecting enrollment and evaluating capacity enable the districts to see the impact of various options for building use and operation as they prepare their long range plans. The process for plan submission, review and approval has been accelerated with improved workflow support, and document management capabilities significantly reduced the amount of paper documentation previously required.
As individual building repair and renewal projects progress, the districts can see the status of projects within the DOE’s approval process. Upon project completion, automated updates of facility condition information enable more accurate future planning.
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