Committees allow the Board of Trustees to accomplish important work with the help of a subset of smaller groups tailored to the school’s needs. To learn a little more about the Facilities Committee, we asked ASD Board Member Lucy Chow a few questions.
Where do we see ourselves 10 or 20 years down the road? A more intimate school, or a larger community school? The size of the student population is an important determinant of how our campus should evolve, but perhaps more critical is what type of educational institution do we aspire to be?
We need to ensure our existing campus is maintained to the highest standard. We need to ensure traffic and parking access are continually evolving to meet the changes of our school population and surrounding neighborhood. We also want to be energy efficient and strive to bring in the most up-to-date technology in sustainability. Ultimately—whether it is now or 20 years from now—we want our students, faculty, administrators, and parents to know we have facilities that are second to none in the UAE; Facilities that meet our goals and aspirations to provide the best forward-looking curriculum for our community.
I have the honor of Chairing this Committee. Jane Elliott and Joe Lebrato (Former Facilities Chair) also sit on the Committee. Mark Troy (CEO of Medotex Solutions) and John Fekete (Executive Director-Saudi Arabia, Head of Consulting MENA, JLL) represent our parent community and of course, this Committee is nothing without Steve Jones, ASD’s Director of Facilities and Operations. We are keen to find some more parent representatives to join this Committee. A background in facilities management or a good understanding of how to operate an educational institution would be helpful, but not mandatory.
We have individuals who have been part of the ASD community for over 20 years, have known the Jumeirah campus and who helped with the transition to the Al Barsha campus. It's also important to have individuals that can provide external market intelligence and advice on the real estate sector in general. In addition, anyone with insights from their volunteerism at other international schools is always a bonus!
We hold strategy sessions related to the Masterplan for the campus. This informs everything related to the future of how our campus will evolve and grow to fit the strategic plan of ASD in the coming decade.
I don't see this being an evaluation process, but a collaboration process. To determine the Masterplan, we will need the input of all our community of stakeholders. While the overall vision and guidance will be determined by the Board and Administration, we will want participation and input from students, faculty, and parents.
Our mission is to challenge and inspire each student to achieve their dreams and to become a passionate learner prepared to adapt and contribute in a rapidly changing world. The Masterplan is the manifestation of the mission. Our facilities need to keep pace with innovative types of learning so we can provide excellence and a world-class education for students today and in the future.
When should the community expect feedback regarding the progress of this committee?
As the Facilities Committee oversees everything from food services to building management systems to traffic flow, you hear from us often. It may not be from us directly, but we touch many aspects of ensuring the school is operational on a day-to-day basis.
One of the areas we focus on is food services. It has been some years since we have had a chance to reevaluate our offerings. We will want to engage students in which direction they want to see their cafeteria evolve. They are the ultimate customers at the end of the day.
Lucy Chow has served on the ASD Board of Trustees since 2019. The American School of Dubai Board of Trustees is a group of volunteers dedicated to carrying out the mission of ASD and the community it serves.