5 School Renovation & Construction Planning Tips

Space is at a premium at all levels of schools, it seems. From elementary level to institutions of higher education, campuses are filled with aging buildings that need renovations for atheistic, environmental, and safety reasons.

According to the 2018 Facilities & Construction Brief study by College Planning & Management, 45 percent of 143 schools surveyed are planning a major renovation or modernization in 2018. The survey found that 26 percent of schools are planning to add on to an existing building.

School teacher in classroom

Both scenarios mean that at least some space currently in use by students or staff will likely be unavailable during the project. The study found that the top concerns for schools considering construction projects are time management for project completion by the start of the school year, and safety, logistics, and continuation of the educational program during construction or renovation. By ensuring these projects stay on schedule, school renovations can be less disruptive to their students, faculty, and staff.

Continue reading below to learn the five ways to keep campus renovations on schedule:

1. Create a cross-functional team to manage the project.

When the University of Pennsylvania renovated the mechanical and lighting system in a wing of the chemistry labs, the school created a team that included contractors, a design team, university representatives, and construction management personnel.

The team proactively and openly communicated to address issues and provide information to each other to help the project stay on schedule. According to Facilitiesnet magazine, communication is the best tool for keeping a school renovation project on time and on budget.

2. Start the project with accurate information.

Each time a project must stop because of outdated specifications or a lack of information, the schedule slips. During the planning phase, gather and verify the latest floor plans, electrical information, permit requirements, and any other information contractors and designers will need.

3. Store furnishing and fixtures in portable storage containers.

Whenever the construction team moves furniture or has to work around existing fixtures, the effort takes additional time. Before the project begins, transition everything in the buildings under renovation into movable storage that can be parked in an unused corner of campus.

students studying in school library

By using locked and secure storage, such as PODS containers, schools also reduce the risk of theft and vandalism while renovation projects are underway.

4. Build incentives (and penalties) into the construction contract.

Include a clause in the construction contract that provides financial incentive for the contractors to finish on time. Some schools use incentives such as a bonus if the project is completed early, while others levy a penalty for each day or week the project runs over.

5. Use mobile storage for materials, tools, and equipment.

Unloading tools, equipment, and materials each day takes time that could be better used actually working. If a theft occurs, the project will experience delays as the crew replaces inventory. Save time and reduce risk of losing valuable supplies by providing a PODS container for the construction crew. When you place the PODS container near the building they’re working on, the crew can quickly grab everything they need and save time and money.

To learn more about how PODS can keep your campus renovations on schedule, visit PODS for Business or call 855 706-4758.

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