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From Concept to Construction
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From Concept to Construction

From Concept to Construction

Below is an outline of the types of capital projects undertaken at MPS, along with the steps staff take to plan projects from design to construction.

Capital improvement planning also takes into consideration the Facility Education Index, which is an assessment of a school building’s capacity to support the instructional program it houses.


At any point in the year, Capital Planning and Construction Management staff are in the midst of planning for or overseeing project improvements for Minneapolis Public Schools’ more than 71 buildings and adjoining land.  

To ensure its limited funds are put to best use, MPS goes through a preliminary stage of pre-planning to develop a list of which buildings will get improvements and when this work will start. This list is also referred to as Capital Improvement Projects.

Once this capital improvement list and budget is finalized and approved by the Board of Education in the spring, each project goes through a planning process from concept to completion as outlined below.

  1. New Builds: When a brand new school is built rather than remodeling a current school.
  2. Major Renovation: A renovation that affects most or all of a building that includes multiple systems and can include significant new construction on an existing building.
  3. Minor Renovation: A renovation that affects a portion of a building.
  4. Remodel: Remodel of a portion of a building.
  5. Security: Security system upgrades that include cameras, access control, burglar alarms, or other systems that enhance security such as  lighting, fire alarms, and PA systems.
  6. Civil and Landscaping: Stormwater retention ponds (also known as rain gardens).
  7. Systems: Any building system such as lighting, low voltage electric, data, HVAC, instructional technology, etc.
  8. Building (equipment): Air handling units, rooftop units, boilers, transformers, generators, switchgear, cell tower equipment.
  9. Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment: Part of nearly all projects; can include furniture in any room, finishings, or specific equipment such as in a science or art classroom.