Regardless of team size or growth, there are a few staple items that would be good to have.
-Central compressed air (Our school has a compressor in the basement that we are plumbed into. If your school has something similar it shouldn’t be too difficult to add)
-Multiple circuits of 120V and 220V (240V? I’m not excatly sure on the standard, but look it up for what you might use to power a mill or lathe) power and possibly ceiling mounted cord reels to get power wherever you need in the shop
-Garage door. It sounds silly but without it getting robots in and out is way harder, and you may not be able to move machines into the shop in the future
-Good internet/WiFi and potentially a server to store team files on
-Lots of organizational storage spaces. Think shelving units for parts, hardware, small raw material, and anything else you can think of ever wanting to store. We go up pretty tall on ours, and it works as long as you keep light stuff at the top (foam, rarely used supplies like car wash stuff, pneumatic and surgical tubing, tread, etc). Also, racks for raw metal and wood, including common bar and tube stock, shaft stock, and sheets/plate materials. Additional closet space to store assemblies and to organize parts by subsystem is also incredibly helpful. Basically as much storage as you can get, try and fit it in everywhere. You will always have something new that you decide to keep around and useful stuff just accumulates. Obviously tool organization is very important too, including even seemingly stupid things like a spot to charge drill batteries.
-Potential benchwork around the outside of the shop, and also caster-mounted mobile benchtop spaces for the middle of the floor work well. You can also put storage within your benchwork.
-If possible, tables and chairs to sit around, or chairs for the benches. Nobody wants to stand for hours on end every night and it gets tiring (Also people like to sit when they eat). Also, try to get a carpeted area for the CAD/Programmer people so they don’t have to work in a crowded, loud, dusty shop where their electronics can get damaged. This carpeted area can double as a place to test drive your robot if you don’t have space for a practice field, as long as the carpet is similar to FRC carpet.
-A fridge and possibly a microwave or more if you can get away with it, even if just to keep cold drinks around
-Never underestimate the power of speakers, having some music in the background (at a safe level) is nice because it discourages students from using headphones, and most people like having something to listen to while they work (I stress again, do not play music at a level where clear shop communication is impossible or any unsafe condition is created)
-If your team does a lot of bearing work or broaching, consider getting an arbor press. It’s a really useful tool for a lot of different applications, and something that will be noticeably missed if you get one and then take it away
-I prefer free-standing drill presses and bandsaws to benchtop ones, they are generally bigger, more robust, and more comfortable to use. I also find that they are generally of a higher quality as well, and can do more heavy-duty work. That being said, if benchtop is all that is in your budget or size restrictions, then by all means, the difference isn’t that big of a deal
-Make sure your workspace is bright. All of our mills and lathes have clamp-on spotlights (super cheap, and wonderfully helpful) attached and extra fluorescent tubes overhead, as do some of our other tools. I am of the firm belief that a bright work area is a safe, accurate work area, and it just makes everything easier.
-A sink and running water is absolutely invaluable to a shop, as is a first-aid kit and safety goggles cabinet. Also, some small lockers for students to keep their stuff is always nice to have (I always kept my personal safety goggles, calipers, and a couple other oddball tools locked up so as not to lose them, and it is nice to not have to take them home all the time)
-Additional tools to consider if you are thinking about doing more precise work include a few good calipers (I prefer dial over digital, but to each his own), micrometers, possibly a scale to weigh the robot, and more accurate punch sets
With regard to machine safety, obviously nothing is as valuable as common sense, but there are some things that every student needs to know about before entering the shop. Here is a pretty comprehensive safety list from the wonderful Team 358. Also, before buying a new tool of piece of equipment, read up on its particular safety precautions and procedures, as every tool has its quirks. For technical information and other general robot stuff, 358 has some amazing stuff on that as well, as do some other top teams, like 1114.
This seems very comprehensive, but in submitting such a big proposal to the school, you should plan everything out meticulously, once you have a hint that it might be possible to move forward, in order to prove that you are truly dedicated to the task and prepared to see it through in a constructive, futureproof, and responsible way. Generally, showing that you did your research will make administrations more willing to help you out, since they can bank on your plan actually working. Obviously not everything here will be ideal for your team, and there may be other things that you deem necessary to your shop, but this is a general outline for what I would do for a dream shop on a limited budget. Best of luck, this would be an excellent step forward for a growing team.