Facility Master Plans were difficult to understand and inflexible documents that didn't optimally serve school districts or the community. They didn't provide the insight required to help key decision makers actually make decisions.
We replaced static FMPs with a dynamic web platform & service that hosts essential information, shows data visualizations, and tells the story behind what it is aiming to be achieved. We call it Agile Capital & Equity Plan.
Our CASH award-winning Agile Capital & Equity Plans have become the gold-standard. They've helped school districts raise record-high bond numbers and provide a strong foundation for future innovation within the institutional education financing space.
In 2018, the founder of GoArchitect, Josh Sanabria, was challenged by DLR Group to explore the future of Facility Master Plans (FMPs) and how they could be a better resource for the community and school districts. This seemingly humble project morphed into the creation of an entirely new way of approaching and delivering a FMP to educational clients.
This process lead to the creation of the Agile Capital & Equity PlanTM or ACE Plan which is a proprietary and technology-driven answer to how school districts and other community organizations can plan for the long-term success of their facilities and stakeholders.
Prior to 2018, FMPs were typically huge documents with hundreds of pages of static spreadsheets, text, and images. These documents were all too often "put on a shelf" and forgotten about. They simply didn't provide a useful user experience to school district officials or the community that would be impacted by the decisions made through this document.
The responsibility of any facility master plan is to engage a district's constituents and garner support for the eventual passing of a bond measure. We found that a static PDF format did not engage the community and only heightened the likelihood that a bond measure may fail in the polls. Meanwhile, a friendly and engaging website could pull its own weight in informing the public, selling the vision and process of the core planning group, and help garner support for funding ahead of voting day.
"Quarter of a million spent on a master plan that no one looks at... We needed something different; something that is useful to district staff and the community. We need a tool that is both flexible and informative which can help our bond measure be successful and impactful."
- District Admin
The number one challenge was to make the FMP a live and dynamic source of information that was easy to understand and helpful to district administration. We analyzed how the static spreadsheets were a particular disappointment and how online data visualizations could display the information through live charts, tables, and graphs.
These data visualizations were tested and the input we received from educational leaders was overwhelmingly positive. They wanted to be able to slice and dice their district's data to better understand the impact each data point had on funding decisions and equity planning. Through this user-experience-focused approach we were able to unlock correlations between funding, equity, and facility conditions that were previously impossible to find.
The process and technology that enabled this advancement is now part of our Agile Capital & Equity PlanTM service.
"It's been incredibly satisfying to see how much more useful these next-generation FMPs can be. They are customized to our needs and what we hope to accomplish for our district."
- Core Planning Group member
Rather than try to optimize a static document, we created flexible online platforms that could be easily updated and include a wide variety of data and materials to support the FMP. This completely transformed the way FMPs were typically viewed and shared with the community. These websites can be shared with anyone, viewed by anyone, and can adapt to local needs, like multi-lingual requirements.
This increase in engagement, clarity, and transparency helped school districts raise record-high bond numbers and better serve the educational needs of hundreds of thousands of students.
GoArchitect has now collaborated with many project leaders on Agile Capital & Equity Plans for multiple school districts in the USA. Every new Agile Capital & Equity Plan is an opportunity to better serve the community, students, and educational leaders.
"Creating different scenarios with the online tool is incredible. We can now have discussions in minutes instead of weeks."
- Core Planning Group member