School Grounds TRAnSfoRmAtiOn  
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The draft plan

It is important to take the entire school property into consideration when planning no matter how small your initial project because any portion of the grounds will be affected by the whole and the activities that take place within it. It is best to draw up a grand plan for the whole site that includes a number of the most popular projects identified during the surveys.

Composite of ideas

The plan should be as far as possible a composite of everyone's ideas. At this stage, unless you have found a draftsperson among your school community, you may wish to approach a planner or landscape designer for assistance with drafting the final plan.

Most school boards will accept your planning team's hand-drawn plan as long as it is to scale and demonstrates that you have adhered to their health and safety requirements and grounds maintenance policies.

Ask first!

Professional services can be expensive and you can save money by doing it yourself.

Alternate plans

Draw up alternative plans based on different scenarios such as:

  • money and time no object
  • realistic - recognizing the realities of time and money
  • necessities only

Costing and timetabling

Estimate the cost of developing all the projects on your whole site as though money and time were no object. Calculate the cost of the first project for which you need approval. Look at all the expenses and benefits.

Think about ways you can save money by salvaging unwanted materials and factor these savings into the total cost of your project. Also, consider how your school grounds projects can earn money; for example, by growing and selling saplings from a school tree nursery and plants such as herbs, vegetables and perennials.

Approximately one third of waste going to the landfill is organic. By making your own compost you will avoid having to buy commercial fertilizers.

Implementation schedule

You will need to estimate the length of time required to complete the first phase of your project and draw up an implementation schedule. You could be looking at anything up to a twenty-year time frame for the whole project.

Maintenance plan

You will need to draw up a maintenance plan for when you present your plan for approval. School boards always ask how school grounds transformation projects will be maintained, particularly over the Summer vacation.

Final plan

Present the school's final draft plan to parents, staff, neighbours, local groups and school board officials for their approval.

Keeping people informed

Continue to keep people informed about what your school is doing. Hold a school assembly and invite the media to attend a public meeting and visit your exhibit. Include a question-and-answer session at the public meeting. Be prepared to adjust your final draft plans.

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