Creating a Feasibility Study for a new STEM Education Facility

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There are many areas to consider when preparing a feasibility study for a new STEM facility at your school. Depending on the size of the project you are undertaking, the process will involve some of the following steps; Brainstorming, Concepts, Costing, Drawing, and Presentation. Presenting a great feasibility plan with your ideas and costings is a great way to help you understand your project in detail prior to presenting to key stakeholders and management. In this article, we seek to give you some simple inspiration to help you to present an accurate feasibility study for a proposed STEM room.

Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a critical part of the process of your feasibility study. Pull some key stakeholders together and conduct a 1-3-hour session on the proposed STEM room. Make sure you understand the basics such as; how much space do you need? What rooms will you need, if any? Depending on the size of your project, including some students in your brainstorming session, as you may be surprised at the value they may bring to this creative session. Record ideas onto a mind map as this will assist you later in the planning phases.

Concepts

Look at all opportunities within your current school facility and think outside the box. Draft some concepts of the proposed space/s so you can see if these will suffice.  With a larger project, it is a good idea to request external consultation or architects to go through this process with you. List all the basic fixtures, loose furniture, and basic requirements that you think you may need in the space and consider some basic layouts at this stage. Don’t forget your mind map as you can incorporate some of the ideas into your concept sketches.

Costing

Make sure you consider every part of the project as a minor oversight can take a small project over budget very quickly. If you are using an architect, they will assist with this process in detail. If you are planning on a smaller refurbishment, break up your project into as many pieces as possible and categorize them into suitable trades.  Treat your costing exercise like a mini-tender, it is a great idea to send it to 3 to 4 key suppliers in each category for quotes. Centralize your costings onto one shareable sheet with comparison columns, as this will greatly assist with the due diligence. Consider highlighting your recommendations to assist with the decision making and state your reason for choice clearly.

Drawing

Consider sending your concepts sketches to a company like www.modulab.com.au as they will be able to crystallize your concepts into some basic presentable schematics in isometric and plan view free of charge. This will allow you to take a very detailed and accurate drawing board to your management team and present with the feasibility study. If you are confirmed with the location of your space, get another person to double check the external measurements with a laser tape measure for accuracy. Modulab systems can offer this measuring service as part of their basic consulting package.

Presentation

It is important to have the other steps completed prior to this point and it is always good to have your study to date challenged by a third party to ensure you are on the right track prior to your presentation. Keep your presentation clean, simple, and precise. Consider transferring your feasibility study onto a PowerPoint presentation and include sketches, concepts, costing comparisons, and detail drawings. Send your presentation to key stakeholders for comments and feedback.

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