Capacity / Utilization Studies
School capacity must account for the individual and specific ways that each building serves children in their community. Special programs and room uses need to be taken into account. Analyzing a functional capacity versus current and forecasted enrollment is key to developing reliable long-range facility plans.
About Capacity / Utilization Studies
School capacity is something where you could get 3 different answers for one building. The difference is in how the capacity is calculated. Using a total square footage calculation method most often gives a capacity number that, if full, will be considered over-utilized. This is often referred to as ‘design capacity’.
It is much better to work collaboratively with the district and staff to determine optimal class sizes on a district-wide basis, and then factor in room/space needs to account for things like special programs and resource/pull-out activities. This method is often referred to as ‘functional capacity’.
Once capacity figures are established and enrollment forecasts have been completed, the next step is to determine how building utilization is currently and into the future. The results of this helps direct thoughts on ways to provide capacity relief while utilizing all of the space that the district has to use.