Paper process for event scheduling decreased district transparency, efficiency and cost recovery for facility useir event management beyond using paper while keeping their campus safe
Improved communication, fee structures and security for community use of facilities
Beaverton Schools get used often and by a very supportive community. With the manual paper process that groups used to request space, the district realized it needed to evaluate its facility scheduling inefficiencies and fee structure. To implement a new process, Beaverton brought on Kathy Gray and Jolyn Iboy to manage the facility use reservation process full-time. Through the vendor selection process, Kathy and a committee selected Dude Solutions Event Management as their cloud solution after determining that other platforms could not meet their needs. With the support of the administration, Kathy and Jolyn were able to champion a new, streamlined process for facilities use.
Utilizing an online form and changing the approval process makes facility scheduling faster and saves school principals time. The district also changed the fee structure based on visits with peer institutions. The tiered fee structure now charges more for fields and auditoriums versus classrooms. “We’re still early in the process, but I foresee us recovering a majority of our costs especially by recouping custodians’ overtime rates,” said Kathy
With 51 schools and high community involvement at Beaverton, Kathy and Jolyn quickly realized a new online process for requesting facilities would not be successful without revised and strengthened policies, strategic messaging to the community, and ample support for community groups. The district piloted Dude Solutions in all of the high schools at once, the most used space for rentals. Kathy’s team also deleted all paper forms and only accepted online requests when they rolled out Dude Solutions. “It was a lot at once, but was less confusing for groups to request space in one way only. We were kind, but firm – community members had to submit event requests online and rental fees were non-negotiable,” Kathy said.
Next, Kathy’s team championed building out one calendar for all departments, including maintenance, safety, athletics, facility use, capital projects and others. “For a district our size, this is critical. It has improved communication between departments so everyone knows what is going on. For example, now other departments see our facilities don’t shut down in summer with the thousands of events that take place per month. Maintenance and our facility use group work together to schedule planned maintenance around events, and the centralized calendar demonstrates what resources are needed,” said Kathy.
As Kathy notes, “A united district leads to a more safe and secure district.” This became evident when Beaverton faced a lead issue in their water that required additional water testing. “System information was huge for this project; everyone involved knew where events, maintenance work and capital projects were taking place. As a result, the district efficiently planned what buildings could shut off the water for testing,” said Kathy. The district’s centralized event calendar has also helped us identify unknown visitors and wear and tear on facilities and fields.
The implementation and transition for the community has been very smooth.
We made sure to accurately communicate that our new process protects students and taxpayers. Taxpayer dollars are for schools, and we want to keep that money in the schools, not to pay for outside event resources, wear and tear, overtime, and additional energy costs,” Kathy added.