Schools drastically behind on preventive maintenance, report finds
- K-12 institutions, both public and private, and two- and four-year colleges are significantly behind on preventive maintenance projects — only 19% of work orders include preventive maintenance requests, a number that is way below the recommended 30%, according to a recent study from SchoolDude set for release Thursday.
- The data also show that when facilities are rented out for community use, on average schools incur costs of $70 per student per event for energy usage, personnel charges, materials used and general wear and tear. However, school administrators are only recovering about 40% of this cost.
- Nearly 6 in 10 — 58% — of respondents say they are deploying more technology assets this year compared to last year, and nearly 90% expect instructional materials to be at mostly digital within the next three years.
SchoolDude did not disaggregate results based on school type and level, and could not provide this information upon request, so it is not evident if, for instance, the expectation that over 50% of instructional materials will be digital in the next three years is more prevalent on the K-12 or higher ed side, or if public vs. private or school level makes a difference.
However, the data still provides a good and quick snapshot at a number of things. For instance, knowing schools are generally only recovering 40% of the costs associated with renting out facilities might be useful to administrators who could re-evaluate rental fees and boost prices, which could in turn allow for more budget for preventive maintenance.
The 2016 State of Facilities in Higher Education report produced by Sightlines found most campus buildings across the country "were constructed before 1975 and have passed key thresholds for renewal." However, new construction has taken precedence over restoring the older buildings, and "[a]s a result, maintenance backlogs are reaching a level that keep campus facilities managers on a reactive footing — addressing critical building envelope and mechanical system problems and responding to daily emergencies." The same is true for K-12 schools, in terms of reactive projects dominating. Severe budget cuts at both levels of education have left little money for schools to take on such projects.
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