SERVICESSchool Facility Consultants (SFC) is a full service company assisting school districts, county offices of education, private agencies, architects, and developers in all aspects of school facility planning. SFC and its affiliate offer a wide variety of services to clients, including, but not limited to the following:
STATE FUNDING ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATIONCalifornia school districts and County offices of education have the potential to realize significant State funding contributions through individualized analysis of funding eligibility under the State's School Facility Program (SFP). SFC consulting staff is trained to analyze complex data sets in order to determine eligibility and access funding available through the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and other State agencies. SFC assists districts in navigating the multi-step requirements and coordinating with these agencies through the entire funding process.
FUNDING STRATEGYBy synthesizing our various areas of technical expertise, SFC consulting staff is equipped to develop complex and effective long and short term funding strategies that provide proven results in facilities funding. As a full-service consulting firm, SFC has the ability to take school districts facilities projects from start to finish, applying methodology that garners the greatest funding gains while addressing specific and individual project needs which may evolve during the life of the project. SFC assists clients in providing a long term strategy which results in maximizing outside funding sources to expand the life of their local funding availability. These efforts ultimately afford our clients with the ability to provide additional and enhanced learning environments for students.
PROJECT CLOSEOUT AND AUDIT SUPPORTAs part of participation in the SFP, school districts and county offices of education are required by statute and regulation to conform to a number of certifications, as well as to ensure that funds received are expended appropriately. As part of the project closeout process, OPSC conducts extensive audits, during which clients are asked to produce evidence of project expenditures and compliance with certifications. SFC assists clients in compiling the documentation necessary to demonstrate conformance with expenditure requirements and the numerous certifications in order for clients to retain their awarded project funding amounts.
MASTER PLANNINGClients utilize Master Plans to forecast their facility needs into the future. SFC produces comprehensive Master Plans for clients, which assess potential impacts associated with outside area developments such as new residential development, shifts in demographic trends, and fluctuating district boundaries. Unification studies, territory transfer and school site placement are interpreted as the physical needs of clients' facilities are also assessed and addressed through use of Master Plans.
DEVELOPER FEE STUDIESSchool districts are authorized to collect impact fees on new residential and commercial/industrial development pursuant to California law. The preparation of developer fee studies in accordance with statute is required in order for districts to collect these fees. These studies utilize local district data, including new residential development, historical statistical information, and school construction costs to determine the dollar amount that can be justified for collection by the school district. SFC's Planning Division prepares Justification Studies (Level 1) and School Facility Needs Analysis Studies (Level 2 and 3) according to the Education and Government Code provisions.
FEDERAL FUNDINGA variety of funding options are available to school districts beyond what is offered through the State School Facility Program. SFC helps clients seek a broad scope of funding sources through specific federal programs. Many of these federal programs mandate that funds be applied to particular, substantiated uses. SFC reviews clients' projects relative to these federal programs to ensure that clients maintain the ability to meet those accounting requirements.
LOCAL SUPPORT SERVICESOur Sacramento office serves as the heart of our operation, providing our consultants with immediate access to State Agency representatives and legislators. In order to provide the customized services that our clients require and depend upon, SFC also maintains a presence throughout the State. In addition to its Sacramento location, SFC has consulting staff located in the San Francisco Bay Area, we maintain office space in Fresno County, and our consultants regularly participate in workshops, seminars, and frequent client meetings in Southern California. By being available throughout all regions of California, we are able to provide our clients with valuable face-to-face meeting time in their home territories.
ALMA Strategies' strategic planning approach assists clients navigate the complexities of capital planning and financing in order to articulate solutions that maximize funding opportunities and optimize resources.
CONSTRUCTION PLANNINGFollowing the development of a master plan, school districts and other public agencies benefit by gaining an understanding of how the timing of a project's phasing and logistics can impact the financial picture, influencing availability of funding. ALMA Strategies works with clients to facilitate coordination between the timing of construction projects, impacts to educational and other programs, and the deadline requirements of funding sources. ALMA Strategies consultants work with architects, construction program managers and public entity clients to develop implementation plans and optimize construction programs to realize financial gain for clients.
Early identification of funding sources by our consultants aids school districts and public entities in adequately financing construction projects and programs. ALMA Strategies helps clients to identify various funding sources from the federal, state, local and private sector and helps clients plan accordingly.
REAL ESTATE ASSET MANAGEMENTSchool Districts and other public entities with large real estate holdings have an opportunity to manage their portfolios in such a manner as to generate revenue rather than allowing unused and underutilized property to remain financially static. Applying many years of combined experience in facilities funding analysis to such portfolios enables ALMA Strategies to make impact determinations and recommend an asset management strategy that maximizes income from those non-liquid assets.
ENERGY / SOLAR CONSULTINGBy implementing green technologies and energy saving measures, water conservation and generation of solar power, school districts and public entities can conserve energy according to green building standards mandated by state law while acquiring increased funding from various sources. ALMA Strategies advises clients with regard to the many high performance systems options and funding available for those specific systems. We provide a comprehensive strategy for implementing energy efficiency systems in new, modernized and renovated public facilities buildings so that our clients both conserve energy and maximize financing.
EDUCATIONAL SPECIFICATIONSEducational Specifications are required by California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 14001(a) and 14030(a) for Plan Approval of new schools by the Department of Education, and recommended when planning an addition or modernization project. Our consultants work closely with school district staff and school communities to develop educational specifications that link the educational program and the school facility. Referring to educational specifications ensures that facility projects are consistent with program needs and can help to target funds from the various alternative or specialty sources within the School Facility Program. Our experienced consultants work with school districts to develop educational specifications that support and enhance educational programs, making students the focal point of decision making. Developing educational specifications provides a framework for design concepts, selecting building systems and identifying site considerations that impact the successful evolution of facility projects.