Why Every School District Needs a Program Manager (Source: Facilities Manager)

Sep 23, 2019

By JP Grom

Bond programs play a critical role in K-12 education. Our children not only need strong instructional programs, but also excellent school buildings so they can prepare for their future. Often, a bond program is the only way to finance the construction of new school facilities or renovation of existing infrastructure.

Big bond programs, which can sometimes cost hundreds of millions of dollars, require careful management of resources and teams. School administrators typically don’t have the necessary experience to handle these bond programs. They are not familiar with the rules and regulations, contracts, and the processes that architects and contractors follow. They also don’t have the specialized knowledge needed to implement these large bond programs. On top of it, they have a fulltime day job. Expecting a chief financial officer, a chief academic officer, or a chief administrator to pick up the additional workload and understand the ins and outs of planning and implementing a bond program is unrealistic.

So, what should school districts do? The solution lies in hiring a competent program manager who can serve as a one-stop resource to develop, pass and implement a bond program. A competent program manager should have a combination of planning, design, engineering, construction and project management expertise to manage the bond program from conception to completion. By selecting the right program manager, the school district can provide the best value for a taxpayer’s hard-earned money.