Determining Adequate Square footage for Shops?


Hello everyone!

We recently opened a new performing arts center and grew by three venues (recent-ish. 2019). The shops also became stewards of all of the department productions in the School of the Arts instead of just one department. We have seen a significant increase in the amount we support. The shops were displaced to temporary locations and still reside in those temporary locations. We are facing the challenge of communicating the needs for an expanded scene (and costume) shop. This is in terms of both square footage and equipment. We made an official request for new spaces providing a document outlining the justifications for the ask. This is all within a University and dealing with all those machinations. I share all this by way of providing background. It's been really difficult to get any traction.

Anyone else experienced a similar situation? What I am wondering is what others may have done to bolster their asks.
  • How did you clearly tie the shops to academics?
  • Any calculations connecting budget for designs to square footage?
  • What worked for justifying a ROI (Return of Investment) for the expanded shop spaces?
  • What was the tipping point for you that finally got traction?
I realize it may be vastly different depending on your work climate. We are going into our third year pursuing this. I am just hoping to get some new insights that may help us adjust our approach.

I also realize this is a big topic. I appreciate any insights. Thanks in advance for anyone that takes the time to offer thoughts.
2 possible marks jump to mind;
  1. Enough space to assemble a full set is highly recommended. This allows the other stages to have other school functions and reduces cleaning/repair costs.
  2. Working space for all students in your largest (growing?) class. Students pay to learn, the more you teach the more income!
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Since you are seeking traction, I suggest you come at the issue from multiple directions. Since there are multiple productions from multiple departments in the School of the Arts, get them to make a big noise about what THEY NEED!
I would think the freight alone would give justification of expanding building a new shop. If they aren’t seeing that show them what you are paying for it.
Thank you all for your thoughts and comments. I will use all of these to improve our request. I think having the departments share their voices more in this matter will greatly improve outlining the need.

I sincerely thank you for taking a moment out of your day to read my request and share your thoughts.
Another thought is to define the minimum space. While you might never show that figure to others, it gives you a bargaining position.

When listening to others on campus, be aware that they may focus on fixing past problems rather than planning for a good future!

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