4J Howard and River Road School Team Page © 2013

The School District and the design team felt it would benefit the two projects to have both of the schools work through the Programming phase together, increasing the creativity and energy of the combined group and cross pollinating the best ideas.

Programming has three basic activities:

  1. Research In our case, we went as a group to visit several successful schools in Washington and Oregon to see how other agencies had solved the challenge
  2. Establish goals The design team worked with teachers, principals, and others to determine our goals for the project. How do we define success? What are the educational goals? Sustainable goals?
  3. Summarize the results Define the requirements so that the design of the project can move ahead.


The Programming phase of the project is where the design begins. It is the research and decision-making process that identifies the scope of work to be designed. The Architects and Engineers listen to the Owners and User Groups, helping guide them through a process that will define the scope and functions of the buildings and site.