Design and Facility Assessment Studies
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OT Marshall Architects has designed more than 200 schools and conducted Facility Condition Assessments for 600 more. Its clients include Memphis City Schools, Shelby County Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Arkansas Task Force to Joint Committee on Educational Facilities.
Our design of schools does not follow a template. Rather, it flows from the stated mission and programs of a specific school, and as a result, the research phase is essential even before design begins. In this case, form does in fact follow function, the design principle that the shape of a building should primarily relate to its intended use or purpose. In addition, our architecture is anchored in the belief that schools should be welcoming and the design ultimately should be conducive to successful classroom learning.
In addition to designing schools, OT Marshall Architects has a national reputation for its facility condition assessments. These have led to more efficient, effective uses of schools and to districts making the wisest possible investments in facilities. The assessments provide an accurate picture of the state of assets, their operating life, the impact of deferred maintenance, and cost analyses to project capital and operating needs as a result of aging facilities. In turn, the assessment produces a facility condition index for each school. A facility condition index is calculated by taking the total cost of existing renewal and repair costs and dividing it by the total estimated replacement value. Undertaking a facility condition assessment is essential in monitoring a school’s health and performance and allows management to base capital decisions on facts and planning.
Our firm has conducted this process for every school inside Memphis and for all of the schools in Minneapolis. We were also hired by the court system in Arkansas to assess schools there following complaints about racial disparities between school facilities. In creating a yardstick that could be used to evaluate schools consistently regardless of where they were located, we conducted our proprietary assessment that does not just evaluate physical condition but also programmatic factors. For the first time, this allowed Arkansas to make decisions about investments and closures based on objective assessments and facility condition indices.