Page 48 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Successful Master Planning
A Master Plan can bring together an entire school community by creating an inspirational unified vision for improvements.
Key Components:
Visionary: Create an inspiring new vision that everyone can enthusiastically support.
Participatory: All stakeholders should participate, particularly in the data gathering phase.
Integrated: Focus on the whole site and interconnections, not solely the buildings, to create a sense of place.
Flexible: As future priorities and funding in long term planning are not necessarily foreseeable, it should be an adaptable plan with  exibility of options, phasing and cost.
Deliverable: The plan should be pragmatic, both viable and affordable.
The Team:
Like any construction project, Master Planning is collaborative. As mentioned above all stakeholders, including senior management, teachers, governors, staff, extra curriculum providers, external consultants, parents and potentially even students, should take part. One of the most important roles, particularly with multiple stakeholders, is the Client Representative. The Client Representative leads a Client Team of the key stakeholders, manages all interest groups and provides a single point of contact for the Design Team.
Professional team structures may vary but careful selection is always required. The core Design Team, generally led by the Architects, contains Services and Sustainability Engineers, Planning Consultants and Landscape Architects. Additional bene cial consultants include Transport, Fire, Ecology, Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors (costing) and Approved Building Control Inspectors.
48 Buildings
The generation of a Master Plan has three stages. Although requiring the input of multiple people and organisations, and potentially numerous times, it is necessarily a  uid, evolving, dynamic and exciting process, where designs are made, tested and modi ed.
1) Baseline Data Gathering: Recording the current situation by analysis of all information available, undertaking surveys (such as fabric condition and site densities), uses surveys, local planning reviews and site modeling.
2) Strategic Framework: Statement of vision, aims and objectives as well as potential implementation processes.
3) Spatial Master Plan including Implementation Plan: The Spatial Master Plan describes the proposed design approach and development options, including cost and programming as well as other proposals required to assist with implementation. The Implementation Plan details the delivery priorities, methods, sequence and cost of the works.
St Faith’s, the largest Preparatory School in Cambridge.
Throughout the School was actively involved via a Project Manager and the Senior Management Team project led by the Bursar.
Choosing the right Design Team is fundamentally important so each consultant had either successfully completed previous works at the School or was selected by competitive tender.
Teachers, governors, senior management and staff met the Design Team, completed questionnaires,
visited exemplar facilities, and attended workshops and presentations.
St Faith’s Master Plan included deliverables over 12 and 25 years explained by adjacency and proportional area diagrams, area schedules, departmental coverage, comparison site plan options, hand drawn, computer 3D visuals and virtual reality (VR) modelling.
Example Master Plan Outcomes:
The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Hub was identi ed as the  rst priority and within a year of the Master Plan being published, the  rst phase of this  rst project is on site. This joins adjacent buildings creating a new departmental hub as opposed to the initial more costly plans for a new facility.
The School actively engaged in the design development. A VR headset brought in on
a number of occasions enabled staff and teachers to see and experience room layouts allowing feedback and design  ne-tuning. bb+c architects also provided a 3D walkthrough that was emailed to parents and governors so they too could get a feel for how the improvements will bene t the children.
The STEAM Hub’s second phase is scheduled next summer to minimise disruption during term time.

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