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Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: New York - Brooklyn
  • Client: Cultural/Non-Profit
  • Search ID: 19-0510-14

Helbling is representing a long-term client, Brooklyn Public Library, in conducting an executive search to secure Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities. 

Job Summary

The Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities (Vice President) serves as the Library system’s senior administrator responsible for overseeing the design, planning, and execution of all capital projects, including a Master Planning effort for the 350,000 square foot Central Library. Additionally, the Vice President provides direction and technical assistance to architects, engineers, and contractors on all new construction and renovations and operating maintenance of the existing 1.1 million square feet City-owned and BPL-leased facilities in consultation with a broad range of constituencies, in addition to related NYC agencies, such as the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).    

Reporting to the Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, the Vice President serves as a member of the Library’s Executive Management Team and as staff to the Library’s Board of Trustees’ Capital Planning Committee. Additionally, the Vice President serves as the senior liaison to all City and State agencies associated with the Library’s capital construction and renovation and leasehold programs.

General Statement of Duties & Responsibilities

The Vice President monitors the progress of contractors and construction management companies; develops and prepares reports, specifications and cost estimates for new and remodeled facilities; provides expertise and presentations in areas of facilities planning and development; recommends budgets involving construction and remodeling; makes suitable presentations for the Board of Trustees, Library’s Board of Trustees’ Capital Planning Committee, Executive Management Team, and applicable internal and external audiences; coordinates department activities with procurement and control units; and evaluates the operations of the department and makes recommendations on department policies, systems, and procedures.

It is also the responsibility of the Vice President to recruit, lead, evaluate, and manage a diverse population of 40 full and part-time union and non-union departmental staff, and to direct and support non-union senior managers in the execution of site-specific or system-wide Library capital project goals through needs assessments, funding estimates and requests, project management and analysis in the development, and design and construction phases; and maintenance and custodianship operations for all buildings and facilities with an emphasis on the daily operations of the maintenance and operation programs.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Capital Construction Program
  • Oversee the continued implementation of capital initiatives to ensure that all BPL facilities are attractive, functional, clean, and code compliant. Assist in engaging elected officials, government agencies and private sources for funding and completion strategies for multiple capital and expense facilities projects.
  • Prepare and administer department budget and work plan. Prioritize department commitments. Track and report project status. Prepare project summaries for distribution to staff, external audiences, and elected officials.
  • Participate in the development, planning, and decision-making phases in implementing Library policy at the executive level. Prepare materials and presentations for the Capital Planning Committee of the Library Board of Trustees.
  • Represent the Library at public and professional forums. Represent the Library on Facilities issues with city agencies, utility companies, and other groups such as DDC, Public Design Commission, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Buildings, etc.
  • Plan, budget, and schedule facilities’ modifications, including needs analyses, project projections, pricing estimates, bid documents, and contracts for construction and acquisitions. Use sound judgment to utilize resources to maximal benefit of the institution.
  • Develop long range plans, conceptual designs, and capital layout requirements and documentation for all Library facilities.
  • Formulate and coordinate program specifications, requirements for proposals and contracts, and associated documents.
Facilities Planning
  • Assure that all building systems are fully operational and inspected in accordance with preventative maintenance schedules.
  • In concert with Manager of Building Operations, plan departmental workflow for maintenance and repair operations.
  • Plan and administer new and remodeling construction developments; and oversee work on construction, remodeling, and repair projects, ensuring compliance with all internal procurement and financial procedures.
  • Develop or assist in the development of standards and prototypes for institutional furnishings, signage, and other facility components or installations.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues on the Executive Management Team, and specifically in concert with colleagues within the Finance and Administration team, to implement institutional goals and objectives.

Our Client

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) seeks a dynamic individual with executive capital planning and operations experience, interpersonal capabilities, and an empowering leadership style to join the Library’s Executive Management Team as Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities. The search is being conducted due to the continuous advancement of the organization, and the desire to ensure the physical environment of its locations continues to reflect the Library’s mission and vision, and keeps pace with the changing needs and expectations of library patrons. As the nation’s 5th largest public library system with a network of 60 libraries spread across every neighborhood in Brooklyn, BPL is committed to providing the borough’s 2.5 million people quality services and a vibrant learning environment through materials lending, access to technology, outreach programs, educational workshops, job readiness training, and youth services events.

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Education & Certification

  • Bachelor’s degree is required, although a graduate degree in engineering, architecture, or another relevant field is very highly desirable, as is professional registration.


  • Minimum of ten (10) ten years of progressive experience in Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, preferably in the higher education or the not-for-profit sector.

Skills & Qualifications

  • Demonstrated competencies: Vision and leadership, analytical planning and problem-solving skills, negotiation, accountability, team building and staff development, excellent planning and organizational skills, astute judgment and decision-making, integrity and professionalism, respect for diversity, ability to function well in a multicultural environment, and excellent communications skills.
  • Knowledge of design and construction of buildings and infrastructure, maintenance and operations, utilities and central plants, laws and common practice for purchasing and procurement, construction techniques and practices, city procurement processes, and local and federal building codes.
  • Record of significant leadership management principles, practices, and techniques in managing a professional staff in a complex, multi-site organization.
  • Substantial experience and knowledge of architectural and engineering planning, design and construction, and physical plant maintenance, including knowledge of the New  York City construction environment.
  • Ability to utilize and manage the services of a large number of architectural and engineering firms to implement a major facility development and improvement program.
  • An understanding of the importance of energy, workplace health and safety, and public safety issues in the planning, design, and operation of physical facilities.
  • Familiarity with financial tools, budget preparation, monitoring, and reporting techniques within the context of publicly financed capital projects. 
  • Ability to work effectively and collegially within a large, complex urban public library system and to negotiate effectively with a wide range of constituencies.

Search Consultant: Matt Lesher

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