• Title

  • Director, Planning, Design & Construction

    Job Summary
    Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is looking for a Director of Planning, Design & Construction to join its Facilities Department. Facilities supports RISD’s mission by maintaining a safe and sustainable campus through planning, construction services, building operations, careful management of resources, and respectful personal interaction with the entire RISD community. This is an exciting opportunity to lead and evaluate the campus master plan and planning process in alignment with the College’s strategic plan.
    With a commitment to centering inclusivity, diversity, and equity in executing key responsibilities, The Director of Planning, Design & Constructions is responsible for the planning, design, and construction of all capital projects, adhering to federal regulations and procedures, and ensuring projects are effectively managed from concept through planning, design, bidding, construction, and occupancy. This position also leads the selection and hiring of consultants engaged by RISD for capital projects and physical improvements and manage the work of consulting firms and in-house design staff throughout these projects. The Director helps manage the efficient use of space on campus by all departments and entities while developing long-range and detailed plans to meet the needs of the college. This position is responsible for developing and overseeing budgets for construction projects, and provide management for the office of Planning, Design & Construction as well as serving on and support various committees where appropriate.
    Essential Functions

    • Create, lead, evaluate, modify and maintain the campus master plan and planning process in alignment with the College’s strategic plan. Direct and lead the Institutional Master Plan for submission to the City of Providence every five years or when necessary. Monitor and coordinate with City of Providence Planning Department regarding zoning and campus planning issues. Stay abreast of zoning changes and other regulatory compliance matters.
    • Establish, foster and build relationships with senior leadership of the institution in order to understand needs and goals of individual functional areas and align these needs and goals to the capital plan, institutional planning and strategic plan.
    • Develop and recommend administrative space policy and practices. Assist in the efficient allocation, use, and management of campus space.  Actively lead space management activities such as reviewing the allocation of existing as well as any new space proposed for departments and programs, analyzing existing available space to determine appropriateness for the proposed purpose, developing alternatives, and making recommendations to the administration regarding the appropriate space for a particular use, including any modifications or improvements that might be required.
    • Ensure that all capital projects and physical improvements are effectively managed.  Oversee all activity on these projects, including feasibility analysis, programming, preliminary studies and development of alternative solutions, code review, project design, development of contract documents, preparation of project estimates and budgets, solicitation, receipt, and evaluation of project bids for award to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder, construction administration, site observation of construction, management of the project budget, and project close-out.  Represent the College relating to the administration of planning, design and building/construction contracts. Ensure that contracts are in place in conformance with the advice of the College’s attorneys. Utilize AIA software to prepare contracts for execution.
    • Oversee the preparation, development and monitoring of project budgets. Review status reports for required projects as necessary. Prepare and monitor a Master Capital Budget. 
    • Manage the development of project programs and scope as requested by users, and as modified by budget constraints. Review contract documents throughout the various stages of development to ensure compliance with project program, scope and budget constraints.
    • Coordinate and communicate with the VP of Campus Services and various stakeholders involved in project development and program planning including; RISD clients, various government officials, utilities, developers, architects, engineers and contractors.
    • Manage the office of Planning, Design & Construction by recommending the most effective and efficient structure and staffing for the office, hiring qualified applicants, supervising staff, training personnel to departmental and college standards and procedures, assigning projects appropriate to the capabilities of the employee, setting goals and objectives, and evaluating performance.
    • Develop and maintain design standards and quality expectations for campus construction projects and communicate them to consultants, contractors, and others performing construction on campus.
    • Assist in the development of the Institution’s Annual Capital Plan and rolling six-year capital plan projections and budget process. Analyze, organize and prioritize capital project requests within the framework of fiscal funding, feasibility, priority, and physical, political or various other constraints in order to make recommendations to the RISD Capital Planning Committee (RCPC) for new space or capital projects requests in the context of competing projects and interests. Identify potential issues, oversights and/or compliance with the approved strategic plan. Maintain communication with clients and internal units regarding the status and approval of project requests. Provide administrative support to the RCPC.
    • Identify, implement and maintain effective technological tools for tracking, monitoring, sorting, and reporting on space data and deferred maintenance data. Maintain or replace as necessary file and project management systems.

    Additional Functions:

    • Provide support in coordinating the Institution’s ADA program and code compliance programs in conjunction with the Environmental Health & Safety and Disability Services.
    • Perform related duties as required.


    • Familiarity with 3-dimensional modeling, GIS, and CAFM products preferred. Demonstrated project management skills including developing detailed project plans, managing project team members, communicating project status to appropriate management levels, identifying and resolving project issues, and controlling project scope.
    • Experience with construction project management preferred.
    • Experience working both independently and collaboratively with multiple constituencies is valued, with demonstrated capacity to develop and maintain effective working relationships with individuals reflecting a broad range of identities, perspectives, and experiences.
    • Experience negotiating space changes and implementing space standards is a plus.
    • Experience negotiating contracts and familiarity with AIA contracts preferred.
    • Strong computer skills are necessary, including proficiency with programs such as Microsoft Excel, Word and Access.
    • Knowledge of project management, AIA contract software and CAD applications is preferred.
    • The candidate will also be expected to learn and use other software as needed.
    • BA degree in architecture or related field required or equivalent combination of education and experience, MA/MS degree preferred.
    • Ten plus years facilities planning experience, preferably in a higher education environment.

    Click here for more information and to apply.


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