Director of Facilities

Job Type

Full Time




Rhode Island
United States


Start Date:                        Available immediately

Team:                                Facilities

Location:                          Providence, RI or New Haven, CT

About Achievement First:

Achievement First, a non-profit 501(c)3 charter school management organization, operates 34 public charter schools in Brooklyn, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The mission of Achievement First is to close the achievement gap and deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all children, regardless of race or economic status. Achievement First currently educates more than 14,000 students in historically underserved neighborhoods, with over 90% of our students identifying as Black and Latino. With its college-preparatory focus, the Achievement First approach is attaining breakthrough academic gains throughout the network. Beyond our students and schools, Achievement First is an engaged and prominent partner in the larger conversation about how to improve public education and student achievement in our country.

Achievement First’s approach to teaching and learning enables every student to succeed at the highest levels. This involves:

  • Recruiting and developing successful teachers and school leaders and empowering them to use student data to strategically drive instruction;
  • Creating a joyful school culture where it is “cool to be smart” that emphasizes character education and focuses students on college;
  • Providing students with more time on task and intense intervention when they are struggling so that no child falls through the cracks.

For more information about Achievement First’s mission, approach, schools and team, please visit our website at


Over the past eight years, Achievement First has grown from 350,000 square feet to 1.5 million square feet of real estate, and has participated in more than $300 million of capital improvements to its real estate. Achievement First‘s Director of Facilities will oversee a complex set of capital projects within the AF network. The position focuses on our capital improvements and site improvements in Providence, Rhode Island, as well as other network-wide initiatives. Specific focus will include planning, coordination, and management of projects related to the acquisition, new construction, major renovation, and transition from construction to occupancy for Achievement First schools. It will also include oversight of maintenance, repairs, custodial services, energy efficiency, and excellent problem-solving for our existing school buildings in the Providence area. This job is unique in that the Director of Facilities needs to deeply understand the values of the organization and make meticulous care to ensure that the properties inspire learning and education, and to serve as an exceptional translator of these values to our private-sector partners. There is vast opportunity in this position for the motivated candidate to take on roles of increasing responsibility and independence.

The ideal candidate will have experience in construction management and have working specialized knowledge in relevant related topics (e.g., architecture, engineering, legal contracts, financing, environmental conditions, public approvals). The ideal candidate will be comfortable with both office and field work. The candidate will exceptional, project management skills, strong multi-tasking abilities, superb organizational skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and will be self-directed. 

Responsibilities of the Director of Facilities will be to lead, coordinate, and manage all aspects of facility work for our Rhode Island schools, including:

·        Assist with future space needs assessment, site viability and feasibility analysis, and budget and cost analyses

·        Develop scope of work and schedule for capital projects, completely integrating end user requirements

·        Develop and manage project budget – from preliminary cost estimates to final project close-out – including cash flow forecasts to inform our larger cash management strategy and ensure adequate cash flow

·        Assist with establishing capital targets for fundraising and financing, developing materials required for closing and complying with loans

·        Develop and manage project schedule – from project planning through occupancy and close-out

·        Assemble professional design and construction teams with qualifications that match the project (environmental, survey, architect, engineer, etc.)

·        Coordinate completion of environmental assessments, develop strategy for environmental compliance, and secure environmental regulatory approvals as necessary

·        Coordinate design review with appropriate inputs throughout from stakeholders  such as school leaders, operations team members, teachers and specialty school personnel, board of director members, and relevant community members

·        Coordinate bidding processes (including writing bid documents, building bidder interest, issuing bids, obtaining answers to bid questions, analyzing results, and making recommendations for award)

·        Review, negotiate and make recommendations for appropriate actions on contracts, estimates, change orders, and progress payments

·        Manage all aspects of the construction project as the owner’s representative, including monitoring and verifying work progress for owner

·        Ensure coordination among contractors

·        Lead turnover from construction to the school Ops team

·        Maintain all records for capital projects in extremely organized manner

·        Prepare reports, documentation, and information related to capital projects on an as-needed basis

·        Ensure all regulatory /code compliance requirements are properly addressed and monitored

·        Manage the custodial, maintenance and repair, and other service contracts for existing facilities, serving as a critical liaison between our schools and vendors to ensure excellent service, quick problem-solving and cost efficiency

The Director will also contribute their skills and experience to other network-wide responsibilities as well.

Skills and Characteristics

Within this small team environment, the Director of Facilities for capital projects will gain tremendous exposure to the entire realm of charter school facility work of our network. The Director of Facilities will be expected to meet challenging assignments with a can-do creative problem-solving mentality, tenacity, and a sense of adventure. Specific skills desired of the ideal candidate include:

·        Motivation, maturity, humility, strong work ethic, sense of humor, “roll-up-my-sleeves” attitude

·        Ability to manage people with a growth mindset, develop strengths, and get the best possible outcomes

·        Experience with capital project planning, construction management, and real estate transactions

·        Experience with custodial, maintenance/repair, and facility management functions

·        Ability to manage a variety of projects in terms of scope and cost

·        Ability to manage contracts effectively

·        Familiarity with design and space planning principles

·        Ability to read architectural plans

·        Awareness of laws, ordinances, and regulations applicable to building construction

·        Awareness of environmental regulations and requirements

·        Ability to establish and maintain effective cross-functional working relationships

·        Ability to conduct technical analysis of information (both data and financial)

·        Highly developed organizational skills

·        Strong communication skills and keen judgment

·        Commitment to see projects through from beginning to the very, very end

·        Commitment to excellent customer service

·        Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher

·        Strong commitment to 100% accuracy and close attention to details

·        Belief in the Achievement First mission and educational model

Educational Background and Work Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree is required from a competitive college or university
  • Master’s degree in a related field is preferred (e.g., architecture, engineering, construction management, real estate law, business)
  • 5-10 years of work experience

Special Work Requirements

Some evening and weekend work may be required and field work is a critical part of this position. The position is based in Providence, RI or New Haven, CT. The position will require frequent on-site presence in Providence, Rhode Island and regular travel between school sites in all of our geographies – including Hartford, CT; New Haven, CT; Bridgeport, CT; and Brooklyn, NY. The ability to drive and reliable access to a car is necessary.


Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Additionally, Achievement First offers a comprehensive benefits package.

To Apply

Send resume and cover letter with the job title in the subject line to:

Ms. Lisa Desfosses

VP of Facilities and Capital Finance

Please visit the Achievement First careers site at Achievement First is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Spanish language proficiency is a plus. You can learn more about diversity at Achievement First here:

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

To Apply

Send resume and cover letter with the job title in the subject line to:

Ms. Lisa Desfosses

VP of Facilities and Capital Finance

Please visit the Achievement First careers site at Achievement First is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Spanish language proficiency is a plus. You can learn more about diversity at Achievement First here: