Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Second Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Third Advisor

Cedric C. Ward



Planning of educational facilities is recognized as the responsibility of the educational administrator (Anderson & Van Dyke, 1972; McClurkin, 1964). Much has been written about planning of educational facilities and about the role of the architect and the facility planning specialist, but the details of the educational administrator's responsibility for facility planning has not been clearly defined (Boyer, 1973).


To determine the essential elements of the administrator's responsibility in planning educational facilities, an extensive review of literature was undertaken. Sixty-three educational administrators in southwestern Michigan--thirty from private schools and thirty-three from public-school systems--were involved through a structured interview that used a questionnaire as its basis.


Based upon the structured interviews of administrators and the related literature, thirty-five essential elements of administrative responsibility relative to facility planning were identified. Ten related to the area of general school survey, twenty-one to the area of new buildings and major renovations, and six to the area of school maintenance.


It was concluded that:

1. The planning of educational facilities requires cooperative efforts from various people including administrators, teachers, board members, students, and parents and should not be expected of the architect alone.

2. The planning of educational facilities is a complicated process and educational administrators in preparation for their responsibility should include a course in educational facility planning.

3. Most private-school administrators interviewed had not taken courses related to planning educational facilities, and this was noted as a weakness.

4. The private-and public-school administrators have similar concerns for planning educational facilities although the scope of the responsibility of superintendents for facility planning in large school systems is more complex than that of a small school principal.

5. The clarification of the educational administrator's responsibility possesses a potential for improving the process of planning educational facilities an for eliminating the confusion which often arises concerning the responsibility.

6. The stages and characteristics of the historical development of educational facilities by administrators in southwestern Michigan were quite similar to that of Massachusetts.


1. Whereas it was found from the literature reviewed (Campbell, 1973; Thrasher, 1973) and whereas 64 percent of the educational administrators surveyed support that teachers, students, parents, architects, and those concerned with education should be involved in planning educational facilities, it is recommended that the community's contribution should be sought as much as possible during the planning process.

2. Whereas it was found from this study that only 13 percent of the private-school administrators had taken a School Building Planning course and only 27 percent had taken a School Survey course, it is recommended that private-school administrators should include such a graduate course in planning educational facilities during their training and should thereafter attend seminars on facility planning in order to keep abreast with recent changes in the field.

3. In order to make the position of the educational administrator all-inclusive, it is recommended that a summary of his or her responsibility in facility planning should be included in the development of the job description.

4. It is recommended that educational administrators should be concerned with educational facility maintenance design during the planning process.

5. Whereas it was found that the educational administrators surveyed had no written guide as to their responsibility for facility planning, it is recommended that educational administrators should consider as a guide the identified, essential elements in this study during their involvement in facility planning.

6. Whereas it was discovered through this research that the historical development of private-school administrators' role for educational facility planning is non-existent in southwestern Michigan, it is recommended that further study should be conducted in this area.

7. It is recommended that this study should be replicated in other states in the United States to ascertain how other educational administrators view their responsibility for planning educational facilities.

It is recommended, however, that delineation be made between respondents with actual experience in school construction projects and those lacking such experience.

Subject Area

School facilities--Planning--Michigan, School administrators--Michigan.


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