Check in with your team members on a regular basis to make sure that you're all moving forward. Your Build Day will approach quickly, and you need to be on the ball!
Managing large tasks Last-minute tip sheet
These five checklists are designed to break your planning tasks into manageable chunks... we know how overwhelming this job can be! Look these over now to see what lies ahead, and use them as a guide to create more specific checklists for the members of your team.
Checklist #5: One week to go
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Here are a few key questions to nail down the details:
Parking Have a team member create a parking plan. If parking spots for Build Day are readily available and obvious, this will be easy. Parking, though, may not be such a cinch. Will you need to work with the landowner to reserve a certain area or parking spots for Build Day volunteers? Will you need Logistics Team volunteers to help direct parking? Who will make parking signs?
If parking spots are not available, it will become your team's job to create an alternate plan. Is there a local business or church nearby that will let you borrow their parking lot for the day? Is street parking available? On occasion, communities have worked with the local police and city government to close off a street to allow for easier, closer parking. If street parking and/or street closings are not an option, have your team work closely with the Volunteer Recruitment Team to organize carpools, vans or even buses to consolidate the number of parking spaces needed.
Tip: Balloons are a fun way of highlighting important directional signs, like parking!
Restrooms This is a Build Day essential! Similar to parking, this task may be quite simple, especially if your playground is connected to an organization with ample restrooms. Make sure you check with the proper contacts, however, to ensure that your Build Day volunteers will have access to these bathrooms. Consider the day of the week and timing. If your Build Day is on a Saturday, and your volunteers are scheduled to arrive early in the morning, you will need to make sure that someone from the organization is willing to open the building and restrooms early!
Don't forget cleaning. Who will be responsible for cleaning the bathrooms at the end of the day and keeping them stocked during the Build Day(s)?
If bathrooms are not readily available, you will have to reserve and coordinate the delivery of portable toilets. Check with your co-chair to see if you will need the toilets for prep days and Build Day. Also, start thinking of an ideal location for the toilets. You obviously want them close to the site, but not in the way of equipment deliveries and construction. Be very clear on dates and delivery times when ordering portable toilets!
Tip: Hand washing is essential, especially for Build Day volunteers. If you are renting portable toilets, inquire about portable sinks for hand washing. If not, make sure you have plenty of waterless hand cleaner available, especially at mealtimes.
Water and electricity for construction Similar to the tasks above, this could be an easy, straightforward task or it could require a bit more, depending on your site. Talk to your Construction Captain about electrical needs, so that you have a clear idea of what is needed. For most KaBOOM! builds, electrical needs are limited to power tools, sound systems and any heating appliances for food preparation. Make sure you know where all the electrical outlets are for your site, and do a test run to make sure that they work.
If outlets are not available, you'll need to formulate another plan. Same with water. Be sure you know where the water connections are, especially noting their distance from the build site. You may need extra hoses to be within easy reach! If you don't have water access on site or it's far away, consider calling a local farmer to bring out a water truck, or even ask the fire department for help; they may let you tap into fire hydrants. In our experience, relying on sink faucets is not a great way to mix concrete by hand on the Build Day(s)! It's a good idea to coordinate with your Construction Team Captain at this point. You can communicate needs, and troubleshoot together to come up with a plan that works.
Tip: Plan ahead for a spray nozzle that can be turned on and off easily, as opposed to having to turn on and off water from the source. This really expedites mixing concrete!
Trash and recycling A playspace build generates a lot of materials that can be reused or recycled, and also some waste that needs to be thrown away. If you know someone who is interested in recycling and green-building, put him or her in charge of arranging this side of the logistical preparations. Playground equipment comes packaged in cardboard, which can be flattened and recycled, and sometimes on pallets, which you can also plan with your municipal waste management facility to pick up and recycle. Have this point person talk to the safety and food teams about the plan for water for the volunteers, and whether there will be plastic bottles that will need to be recycled. Vegetable food waste, along with some plates, napkins and even cutlery can be composted, which would give a garden side project a great start on the Build Day(s)!
For items that must be thrown away, check if dumpsters are available on site already; this is ideal, but make sure you have permission from the landowner to use them. If dumpsters are not available, consider renting them. This is a great in-kind donation possibility! KaBOOM! recommends renting a 40 cubic yard dumpster if you have no plans to recycle any of the materials; if you recycle cardboard and plastic bottles, you probably only need a 20 cubic yard dumpster! Learn more about "greening" your build day!
Tip: Some communities have used a simple truck and flat-bed trailer for trash purposes. Volunteers simply pile the trash on the trailer (parked nearby) during the day, and the trailer is emptied at an appropriate facility at day's end.
Tents, tables, sound equipment and chairs Some communities bring out all the bells and whistles on the Build Day(s), including tents, tables, sound equipment (like a PA/sound system) and chairs. Tents are probably most important as a way of providing a little shade if it's unavailable elsewhere, and may provide shelter from rain if bad weather is expected and another covered area is not available. Local companies, organizations, or even individuals may have pop-up tents that you can borrow. Talk to your Planning Committee and about what's appropriate and affordable for your project. Tables and chairs are a definite "nice-to-have" but not necessary item. Rental companies can give you prices - and again, these items are an in-kind prospect from a great vendor. Finally, check with your Public Relations Team Captain to determine your sound/PA needs. While not a necessity, fun music throughout the day does help a build go faster!
Tip: Many communities have successfully gotten in-kind donation for tents and chairs through a local funeral home. Funeral homes are rarely asked to participate in community events, and this is a perfect fit!
Playspace equipment storage Your playground equipment will most likely be delivered a couple of days in advance of Build Day to allow for inventory and organizing. The team will look to you for help in identifying a safe location accessible to the site for storage during this time. Some facilities and organizations have plenty of room for this (many a school gym has been used, for example). Others may require that you rent a portable, on-site storage unit. Either way, the equipment should be close enough to the site so that carrying it to the site in pieces (by volunteers!) is not a problem.
Organize Contingency Plans: In case of rain, the rest of the build teams may look to your Logistics Team for help in preparing for inclement weather. KaBOOM! encourages building in either rain or shine, as long as precautions are taken. Check with your co-chair, Safety Captain and Construction Captain for more details. Rain may require that you rent a tent or alternate storage facility, for example. Be flexible and ready for last-minute needs that come up with bad weather!