The facility planning process can be long and extensive. Whilst extensive, the effort involved in planning, will pay significant dividends once the facility is constructed and operational. A large facility development is often a once in a generation project. As such it is important to get it right.
The steps below highlight a typical facility planning process from initial idea through to construction. The level of detail required in each stage of the process will depend on the scale of the project, but typically the key principles and steps remain the same.
Stage 1 – Need Assessment
- Key questions – what do we want to achieve, why and who for?
- Key Information – demographic data, local trends, consult with key partners (council, other clubs, community organisations).
- Decision point – better utilise existing facilities, upgrade existing facility or build a new facility.
Stage 2 – Feasibility and Site Assessment
- Key Questions – What do we want to build, where do we build it, how much will it cost, who are the funding partners and how do we make it work?
- Key information – Site assessments, visit other facilities, consult key partners, prepare draft concept and management plans, analyse management, operational and life cycle costs.
- Decision point – Proceed, modify, postpone or stage the development Or abandon the proposal.
Stage 3 – Design
- Key questions – what does it look like?
- Key information – Prepare a project budget, prepare a design brief, seek necessary approvals – permits etc., appoint design team, develop detailed designs and costings. Use of the AFL Prefered Facility Guide can assist.
Stage 4 – Construction
- Facility construction and commissioning