Facility Planning Guide
This guide provides an overview of the facility planning process for a specific sport or recreation facility.
The provision of a sport or recreation facility can significantly enhance the quality of life. Activities held within sport and recreation facilities can encourage participation, promote health and wellbeing and foster a sense of community. However, planning a sport or recreation facility is an involved and sometimes difficult task.
To “get it right” may take time and involve a range of skills, many of which can be found within your community. This guide provides an overview of the facility planning process for a specific sport or recreation facility. It identifies the stages involved in the facility planning process, the key principles of facility provision, highlights the benefits of joint and shared facilities, identifies sources of capital funding and references various facility planning resources.
Facility Planning Guide
SPORT AND RECREATION FACILITIES
Enquiries or comments may be directed to: Link: Department of Sport and Recreation contact us
This quick guide is a summary of the topic of facility planning
for sport and recreation planning. The contents should not be
used or relied upon as a substitute for professional advice.
The provision of a sport or recreation facility can
significantly enhance the quality of life. Activities held
within sport and recreation facilities can encourage
participation, promote health and wellbeing and foster
a sense of community. However, planning a sport
or recreation facility is an involved and sometimes
difficult task. To "get it right" may take time and involve
a range of skills, many of which can be found within
your community. This paper provides an overview
of the facility planning process for a specific sport or
recreation facility. It identifies the stages involved in the
facility planning process, the key principles of facility
provision, highlights the benefits of joint and shared
facilities, identifies sources of capital funding and
references various facility planning resources.
Key Principles of
The Department of Sport and Recreation
(DSR) have developed four key principles
of facility provision. Together they provide
a planning framework for providers of
sport and recreation facilities.
The key principles of facility provision are:
- Ensure the proposed facility supports
the organisation's strategic plan
- Ensure the proposed facility is justified
- Ensure the proposed facility is feasible
- Coordinate planning with other facility
providers and government agencies
- Undertake community consultation
throughout the facility planning process
- Ensure that various options have
been considered for location
- Maximise access and opportunity-aim
to cater for a broad range of needs,
social issues and physical capabilities
- Develop a management plan to reflect
operational strategies and design priorities
- Develop a design brief that reflects the
needs of potential users and staff
- Design the facility to be practical, flexible,
adaptable, multi-functional, energy
efficient and low maintenance
- Design using Life-Cycle Cost Priciples
- Obtain capital funding that is available
from a variety of sources
- Assess short and long term viability
against the aim of the facility, its operating
philosophy and projected operating costs
- Detail facility maintenance strategies
in an asset management plan
- Develop a Life-Cycle Cost Plan
A preliminary task to planning a sport and recreation facility is the preparation of a strategic recreation
plan. A recreation plan identifies existing facilities and services, the broad recreation needs of
the community and the action required to meet identified needs. It outlines the priorities for sport
and recreation facilities and services, ensuring that provision is equitable and efficient.
The preparation of a recreation plan may identify a range of development requirements. If the recreation plan
identifies the need for a specific sport or recreation facility, the facility planning process should begin.
Facility Planning Process
The five key phases in the Facility Planning Process for a sport and recreation facility:
The first phase in the facility planning process is
to undertake a facility specific needs assessment.
This process will verify whether a new facility is
required or if the need can be satisfied in some
other way. It will also provide clear direction with
regard to the most appropriate scope, scale and
mix of components for the proposed facility.
The key elements of a facility specific
needs assessment are:
- Identification of current and future trends
- Analysis of social indicators
- Review of existing facilities and services
- Assessment of similar facilities and services
provided in comparable communities
- Community consultation to identify
demand, usage and future potential
The needs assessment should involve broad
consultation. Discussions should occur with various
members of the community, key agencies (e.g.
Sport and Recreation, Education Department)
and groups, neighbouring local government
authorities, sports clubs/associations and other
providers of sport or recreation services.
Once all the information is gathered and analysed, a
report is completed recommending to either modify
or abandon the proposal, upgrade or amalgamate
existing facilities, or to develop a new facility.
If the needs assessment recommends the
development of a new facility or significant
redevelopment of an existing one then the
next phase in the facility planning process
is to undertake a feasibility study.
The purpose of a feasibility study is to enable an
objective decision regarding resource allocation to
a sport or recreation facility. The study will refine
the concept and then test that concept to determine
if it will perform both practically and financially.
The key elements of a feasibility study are:
- Market analysis
- Draft management Plan
- Concept plan
- Location rationale
- Design and technical options
- Capital costs and financials
- Sustainability assessment
Community consultation should occur
throughout the feasibility study to determine
particular requirements such as size, usage,
access, functionality and affordability.
Once completed the feasibility study should enable
an objective decision regarding the resource
allocation to the proposed facility. At this stage
an evaluation is concluded to either proceed,
modify, postpone, stage or abort the project.
If the feasibility study recommends to build
a facility, the project then enters the design
phase. It is at this point a management plan
is finalised, a design brief is developed and a
design consultant or team is appointed.
The management plan outlines how the facility will
be used by the community and/or user groups and
should include the following key components:
- Programs and services to be offered
and how they will be promoted
- Proposed management structure
- Facility maintenance strategies
- Annual operating budget detailing
projected income and expenditure
The management plan is then used in the development
of the design brief -that is, the functional requirements
of potential user groups and activities are translated
into a set of design specifications. A comprehensive
design brief is critical if the expectations of the
client and community are to be realised.
The key elements of a design brief are:
- Site details and any clearing constraints
- Schematic diagram or at least a
schedule of specific requirements
- Accommodation schedule
- Standard of finishes
- Project budget and cost limit
- Key dates for the commencement
and conclusion of construction
The requirements of the project design brief are
incorporated into drawings prepared by the design
consultant(s). A detailed cost analysis is undertaken
and all statutory approvals are obtained. Finally, all
the contract documentation is prepared, tenders
are invited and a contractor is appointed.
The design team consists of the design consultants
engaged to develop the design of the facility. In the
case of a small project, it may not be necessary to
appoint design consultants. However, for medium
and large-scale projects, the following professionals
are usually included in the design team:
- Structural engineer
- Mechanical and electrical engineer
- Cost planner or quantity surveyor
- Landscape architect (if appropriate)
- Acoustics consultant (if appropriate)
For larger more complex projects, it is worth
considering the appointment of a professional project
manager. The project manager would be responsible
for managing the activities of the professional design
team, and ultimately for the construction of the project.
Should a project manager not be appointed,
then the architect would generally coordinate
all the other design professionals involved.
Joint Provision/Shared Use Facilities
There are many benefits to joint provision and shared
use of sport and recreation facilities including:
- Less duplication and maximum use of
community facilities and services
- Creation of a community hub-a focal
point for community activity
- Shared capital costs, services,
resources and expertise
- Improved relationships between organisations
- Reduced operating costs
- Increased community ownership of facilities
- Access to a broader range of
services and expertise
- Reduced vandalism
Potential partners for sport and
recreation facilities include:
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Sport association headquarters
- Senior citizen centres
- Neighbourhood and community centres
- Community and child health centres
- Health and fitness clubs
- Art and entertainment venues
- Local government authority
- The private sector
The basis of shared provision and use is to
broaden access, maximise usage and rationalise
costs in order to get the best possible value from
the facility. However, if shared facilities are to
be successful, all parties need to think through
their specific needs for access and use, and be
assured that an opportunity for compatibility exists
before planning advances to the design phase.
Management agreements for shared use facilities
should be comprehensive, detailing arrangements
for location, funding, management risk allocation
and use. However, if the sharing arrangement is to
be successful, their application requires flexibility,
trust, open communication and co-operation.
Where appropriate co-location, joint provision
and shared use of sport and recreation facilities
can result in the best outcome for your sport,
club, school or community. These options should
be explored at length with various government
agencies, State Sporting Associations, commercial
operators, neighbouring local governments and
sport and recreation clubs before any decisions
are made to extend or build a new facility.
Capital funding for sport and recreation facilities
may come from a number of the following sources:
DEPARTMENT OF SPORT AND
RECREATION - COMMUNITY
SPORTING AND RECREATION
FACILITIES FUND (CSRFF)
Local governments and community groups can seek
up to a third contribution towards the upgrading or
construction of a new sport or recreation facility.
Contact your local DSR office to discuss the
project and to determine eligibility for funding.
Funds may be available for multipurpose facilities
that encourage and increase community participation.
Facilities include skateboard parks, trails and
community buildings for the use of groups such as
children, youth, disabled or women. Contact the Grants
and Community Development Office of Lotterywest.
Availability for funding varies between LGA's.
A contribution is usually required from the applicant
group either financial or in kind (i.e. voluntary
labour). Contact your local government authority.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF WA
Funding may be available for joint-use facilities
where the project is a joint venture between a
local government authority and the Education
Department. Contact the Facilities Branch of the
Education Department and your local DSR office.
THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Private interests such as churches, local business
groups, developers and major employers
within the community may contribute funding
towards public sport and recreation facilities.
Community funding may be sourced through:
- Contributions from potential user groups
- Fundraising activities
- Voluntary labour
- Donations of materials and services
- Locating or integrating two or more facilities on the same or adjacent sites.
- Community Consultation
- The process of involving and communicating with stakeholders and
community groups and individuals throughout the facility planning process.
- Concept Design
- Preliminary drawings that convey the concept of the project.
- Design Brief
- A set of instructions from the client to the designer or design
team outlining what the client expects the facility to provide.
- Feasibility Study
- An assessment of a proposal to build a facility that
tests the practicability of that proposal.
- Joint Provision and Shared Use
- An arrangement between two or more parties to co-operatively
plan, design and in some cases manage a facility.
- Management Plan
- An outline of management issues providing direction on
how the facility will be managed and utilised.
- Needs Assessment
- An analysis of the need and demand for recreation facilities
and services. May be generic or facility specific.
- Organisational Philosophy
- The values of the client organisation which supports the provision of the facility.
- Recreation Plan
- An outline of policies, strategies and methodologies within a structured
approach that deals with the provision of sport and recreation facilities.
- Schematic Design
- Scaled detailed drawings produced by a professional designer or architect.
- Social Indicators
- Demographic and social characteristics that influence demand for
human services. i.e. population size, age, gender, ethnicity, mobility,
family structure, housing, disposable income and education.
The Department of Sport and Recreation has a number
of facility planning resources available either on request or online:
Planning Guides Available on Request
- Project Design Brief Guide
- Appoint and Manage a Design Consultant Guide