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The Essential Guide to School Facility Planning is a compilation of lessons learned over three decades, culminating in a concise strategic planning methodology called The Capital Facility Planning Process™. It takes both the new and seasoned planner through the seven concise steps of planning – from the situation audit through managing and monitoring the facility plan.


Hill’s thoughtfully-developed, step-by-step process is illustrated through actual examples of good paths to follow as well as wrong turns to avoid. The book is filled with informative charts and graphs, case studies, examples of specific tools a school district can use in the process, things to consider along the way, and sage advice. This is truly a school district’s go-to guide for continuous planning.


A well developed strategic plan is the centerpiece for making decisions and saving school districts time and money. The ​Capital Facility Planning Process includes these critical steps:​


  1. Situation Audit
  2. Facility Master Plan 
  3. Educational Specifications
  4. Site Selection
  5. Funding 
  6. Design and Construction
  7. Monitor and Manage


See what people are saying about The Essential Guide for School Facility Planning.



Why This Process? Why This Guide?

Get The Guide

For more than 30 years, Denny Hill’s work has focused on laying a great foundation for education – literally. 

Through the company he founded in 1996, Strategic Resources West, Inc., Denny has developed an approach that is both flexible and focused, to assist with the creation, design, or redevelopment of K-12 educational facilities. His comprehensive process enables school districts to successfully identify and address not only their most pressing needs, but to forecast and prepare for what lies ahead. Now, as Advising Consultant for School Planning Advisory Services, an affiliate of Strategic Resources West, Denny works with superintendents, CFOs and other school district personnel in a consulting capacity. Contact Denny Hill to learn more.


About the Author

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Since you always do your homework you’ll likely be comparing The Essential Guide to School Facility Planning: Using a Strategic Process to Save Time and Money to the few other books on the market that relate to this topic. That’s fair and is encouraged. I’m confident you’ll find this guide to be the most comprehensive and easy-to-use resource available for tackling this complex process. Here are some points to consider about the guide when making your comparison. 


  • The guide is strategic and focused on the process, not the practitioner. The process is spelled out from the beginning, providing structure for the rest of the book, logical movement through the content, and logical movement through the steps of capital facility planning.
  • Unlike some other authors, I’ve actually worked in a school district, not just as a consultant, and have the insight into the excruciating details that only experience can provide.
  • Demographics are addressed in detail--from a district leader’s point of view, not a demographer’s.
  • Building planning is discussed in great depth. Without this level of detail you run the risk of missing critical elements that can’t be changed once construction is done.
  • The process provides the invaluable insight that comes only with a truly long-term master plan that considers future needs. Other guides may address only five years–the time it may take just to _implement_ parts of your plan. Failure to plan for the long term results in bandaging issues that could have been resolved years earlier on a much smaller scale. The result can be costs in the millions to address what became a much larger issue later. The adage applies, “Pay me now or pay me (a lot more) later.” Additionally, the detriment to students can be substantial when planning does not adequately consider future needs.
  • An abundance of real-world examples, graphs and charts are included in my book to illustrate the specifics of how the process works and why.
  • The appendices include actual forms, references and resources you need to execute your plan. 


Bottom line—this guide provides the help you need from someone who’s been there, done that, MANY times. School district management is one of the most challenging responsibilities one could accept. Influencing factors are dynamic and many elements are out of your control. Doesn’t it pay to empower yourself to face these challenges with the most comprehensive, tried and proven process available?