Washington County Strategic Facility Planning
Washington County, one of seven counties that make up the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, was facing a challenge due to extensive population growth in municipalities closest to the capital city of Saint Paul. The County realized a need to shift services and infrastructure to best serve its residents, and was having difficulty determining exactly where and how to adjust its facilities, service locations, and staff to meet these new needs. With 13 buildings and over 1M SF to evaluate and allocate, the County turned to RSP’s i_SPACE team.
i_SPACE facilitated a workshop that informed a departmental survey aimed to match service delivery with client locations. Site visits, audits, and building condition analysis came next, followed by a regional data analysis which evaluated socioeconomic and demographic trends alongside County growth projections. Additional workplace analysis evaluated building occupancy, departmental adjacencies, growth forecasts, and current density – to get the truest “lay of the land” possible.
The outcome of the strategic facility planning effort were three data-driven recommendations:
- Reprioritize the County’s 10-year capital plan so critical projects are better planned and ranked.
- Restack the primary office building to better utilize existing space and proactively accommodate projected growth.
- Relocate one service center on the County’s western edge to serve a shifting population and improve staff accommodations.
Washington County now has the information it needs to appropriately fund changes that will bring more appropriate services closer to the residents who need them. Facilities managers have the data they need to successfully target funding efforts based on an optimized set of priorities for the next 10 years. The recommendations have provided a roadmap for Washington County to ensure success in managing their facilities into the foreseeable future.