Director of Operations


The Cowichan Valley School District invites applications for the role of Director of Operations.

The Region
Situated in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on southern Vancouver Island, the Cowichan Valley School District is located between Victoria and Nanaimo. The Cowichan Valley School District extends north to Saltair, south to Spectacle Lake on the Malahat and west to the Lake Cowichan region. We are honoured to be learning on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Quw’utsun, Malahat, Stz’uminus, Penelakut, Halalt, Ts’uubaa-asatx and Lyackson peoples. The District serves a student population of approximately 8,700 students of which 1,700 identify as Indigenous. The School District has 23 school sites and an annual budget of over $111 million. Further information regarding the School District can be obtained at
Reporting to the Secretary Treasurer, the Director of Operations provides leadership and operational oversight in areas of administration of district properties, facilities planning, maintenance and repair, construction and renovations, student transportation, custodial services, grounds maintenance and management of energy conservation programs. Responsibilities include providing strategic and technical guidance to senior staff in the development of long-range planning and budget planning for all operations departments. 
The Director works collaboratively with a wide range of internal and external constituents to develop long and short-range plans prioritizing facilities projects and infrastructure upgrades to ensure a safe, efficient environment for students, district personnel and administrators. 
The Director must exercise a wide latitude of independent judgement to perform the work described above. This position requires skills and experience in asset management, business management, human resources, technical building systems, construction management, safety, security and risk management. 

Duties and Responsibilities 
Facilities Planning  
The Director is the District’s lead position in both long and short-term space planning from a facilities perspective working with the district leadership team and educational leaders to ensure the District’s space needs are met. This will be done through the following duties and responsibilities: 

    Oversees the development and updating of the District’s Long-Range Facilities Plan (LRFP) that informs the annual capital plan submission  
    Leads the District annual 5 Year Capital Plan submission to the Ministry of Education and Child Care  
    Assists in the development and implementation of the District’s Strategic Plan from a facilities perspective 
    Initiates, leads, and supports the Department’s strategic direction in alignment with the Strategic Plan and District priorities 
    Develops, implements and monitors the Facilities Operational Plan to ensure direct support of the District’s Strategic Plan  
    Assists in the negotiation of leases for land, buildings and equipment  
    Participates as an active member of the District’s Leadership Team by creating and fostering a strong Department culture grounded in the values of the District  
    Attends Board and committee meetings  
    Represents the District on local, regional and provincial networks 
    Oversees the relocation and/or disposal of school district property and equipment  
    Submits completed plans of major projects for Board approval  
    Oversees the construction of new schools and ensures that they are completed in accordance with approval specifications and budgets 
    Plans the construction of new school facilities including seismic and transportation considerations 
    Liaises with District staff in the planning of building and grounds maintenance, the level of custodial services required and minor capital requests 
    Develops, in consultation with District staff, specification of new schools and equipment and provides to architects  

Capital Project Delivery  
The Director will ensure the effective and efficient delivery of both minor and major capital projects for the District through the following duties and responsibilities:  

    Provides direction to staff regarding the planning, management and delivery of the District’s Minor Capital Program including the Annual Facilities Grant (AFG) 
    Participates in the effective and efficient delivery of approved major capital projects 
    Oversees the management of complex capital project and department budgets and monitors expenditures monthly to ensures that costs data is correct, efficient, and that funds are managed prudently 
    Assists in the preparation of tender specifications for maintenance, construction, and custodial services 
    Inspects contractors’ work, gives on-site instructions and certifies the completion of work for purposes of payment; and the compliance with regulations of agencies such as the fire marshal, health department, local building authorities, etc. 
    Keeps informed of new developments in methods, equipment, and materials  
    Maintains plans, drawings and other related information and records pertaining to District and school facilities and equipment  
    Assists in the negotiation with architects and in preparation of contracts with selects firms 
    Prepares tender documents for construction contracts  

The Director will provide direction to the Facilities Management team in the delivery of operations of building maintenance, grounds, custodial, transportation and energy management through the following duties and responsibilities: 

    Develops and manages the Department’s Operational Plan that will include a comprehensive preventative maintenance and repair program for all District buildings  
    Implements and supervises maintenance, custodial and minor capital work schedules 
    Directs and organizes the activities of building maintenance, construction, grounds, custodial, transportation and community use of facilities  
    Ensures compliance with applicable WorkSafeBC legislation, building codes and fire codes other applicable legislation and maintains close liaison with outside regulatory agencies 
    Works with District Health and Safety to assist in ensuring healthy and safe working and learning environments  
    Investigates and gives technical advice on the operation, maintenance and repair of district facilities 
    Visits District properties to ensure a high level of support in the custodial and maintenance areas  
    Leads the District’s energy sustainability management function including responsibility for utilities management, energy conservation, recycling and sustainability projects and programs 
    Develops ongoing plans for internal monitoring of the District’s Energy Sustainability Plan  

    Takes a lead on developing and maintaining a strategic approach to school facilities use for community activities 
    Coordinates district response to vandalism, break-in and fire reports, as well as overall building and equipment safety  
    Arranges tests on materials and equipment used in the custodial, maintenance and transportation departments  
    Organizes and supervises all security arrangements affecting school district property 
    Maintains liaison with community organizations and municipal and provincial authorities  
    Prepares, reviews and revises job descriptions as required and in collaboration with Human Resources 
    Supervises and oversees the work of excluded leaders, unionized staff and contract workers in the areas of clerical, transportation, custodial, construction trades, mechanical and grounds 
    Provides advice to the Board’s negotiating committee for negotiations, arbitrations, and grievances  
    Liaises with union representatives in matters pertaining to facilities staff and working conditions 
    Manages the staffing needs of the department and works with Human Resources to recruit, shortlist, interview and select facilities staff 
    Works with Human Resources regarding transfers, promotions, demotions, and release of staff in the relevant departments  
    Ensures that written reports on all probationary employees in the custodial, maintenance and transportation departments are completed and sent to Human Resources 
    Articulates performance expectations, provides positive and constructive feedback and coaches and guides employees as required 
    Works with Human Resources on letters of expectation or progressive discipline in situations where performance concerns escalate 
    Ensure performance evaluations are conducted in a timely manner for employees within the Facilities department  
    Assists in the development of the District’s annual budget and the estimates related to facilities maintenance, custodial, transportation and minor and major capital projects 

Performs other duties as assigned from time to time by the Superintendent of Schools. 

Education and Experience
    Professional Designation, Degree, Diploma, or Certificate in Architecture, Engineering, Building Construction Technology or a related field  
    Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, preferred 
    Experience in the public and/or education sector an asset 
    A minimum five (5) years’ experience managing a complex enterprise's human resources, finances, operations or strategies 
    Proven ability of managing budgets in a similar role 
    Proficient operational and financial acumen 
    Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
    Outstanding organizational skills 
    Experience in a public sector environment (K-12 public education experience would be an asset) 

For further information about this exciting career opportunity, please contact the Secretary-Treasurer, Jason Sandquist, at 250-748-0321, Ext. 201. 

To view the original posting, please visit Make a Future at 

How to apply:
Applications should include a cover letter, a detailed personal résumé with three supervisory references, transcripts, and any other relevant supporting documentation.  Please submit all documents in one PDF file.

Please apply via email to Jen Christenson, Manager of Human Resources, by 12:00pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 

We thank all applicants for their interest, however only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.