The Native American Community Academy Inspired Schools Network (NISN) retained Architectural Research Consultants, Incorporated (ARC) to conduct a condition assessment and prepare educational specifications and a Facilities Master Plan for each ofthree NISN schools: Dream Diné Charter School (DDCS), Dził Ditł’ooí School of Empowerment, Action and Perseverance (DEAP), and Six Directions Indigenous School (SDIS). The schools offer an integrated, indigenous educational curriculum that promotes culture, identity and community investment.
All schools were in their infancy, and striving to maintain enrollment counts with limited educational facility space. Their common goal was to establish permanent facilities that reflect the cultural diversity of their students.
ARC based our planning decisions on current physical space needs and future needs. We worked with school committees, which included parents, staff, board members and founders, who were eager to address school needs. Participants developed three viable options: 1) expand and modernize existing facilities, 2) construct new facilities or 3) request funding for facility needs from their school districts.
The New Mexico Public Schools Facilities Authority (PSFA) approved the five-year facilities master plans, educational specifications and condition assessments. All met PSFA educational specification deliverables and master plan components and guidelines. The facilities master plans prioritize capital funding needs for the schools to pursue their planning goals.