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WE Collaborate: BSD Facilities Development

In the fall of 2017, the Beaverton School District will welcome students into three brand new schools; Sato Elementary School, Vose Elementary School and Mountainside High School. Building three schools simultaneously is no easy task. It takes a great deal of collaboration. At the heart of that collaboration is the BSD Facilities Development Department.

Facilities Development is implementing the $680 million dollar bond program. "Collaboration in our department started in 2012, well before the bond was passed," says Sheri Stanley, Administrator for Facilities Development. It included work with various departments, assessing the needs of the District, a committee of community members and students and the creation of Educational Specifications.

Since 2012, the staff of four has grown to a staff of 25, including several project managers. "We rely heavily on the project managers. They are an essential component of the work because they are the conduit between the construction site and the District, and they also have a connection with the City of Beaverton or Washington County," says Deputy Superintendent Carl Mead.

Several members of the Facilities Development team meet weekly with the architect, contractor and building administrator for each project to assess progress. They also meet with the City of Beaverton and Washington County on alternating weeks. "They have a big role. Our designs have to go through the jurisdiction at the beginning for review, they are permitted and then they continually inspect," says Stanley. She emphasizes that collaboration is key in project management to identify problems sooner, rather than later. "We don't ever want to be a reactionary department. We want to anticipate the problems. One way to achieve that is to have really good communication with all of the parties involved."

Stanley credits an atmosphere of collaboration and trust for the team's ability to get projects completed. "It's stressful. We are on very concrete deadlines. We are dealing with large amounts of money. We've been given a huge responsibility to spend this money wisely. We can't be distracted by something like a lack of trust," says Stanley. "I feel incredibly fortunate to have the team that we do. They are the epitome of collaboration. People are not interested in themselves, as much as they are interested in the team and the product that we deliver."