Helping CPS Develop Maintenance Budgets and Track Infrastructure

Facilities, like anything demand attention. Regardless of age, function, or location, the physical plant needs continual care to ensure a safe and comfortable environment. New schools are no exception. The challenge of a facility manager is continually managing the balance of unplanned demands, planned preventive maintenance, and long term capital projects to maintain optimal learning environments.   

The in4mation division of GBBN Architects is one of five approved organizations in the state of Ohio helping school districts better understand maintenance needs for new and renovated school facilities.  Ohio’s Maintenance Plan Advisor  (MPA) program was developed by the Ohio School Facility Commission (OSFC) to make certain that the multi-billion dollar investment in the state’s school facilities is sustained over time. The MPA program ensures that school districts plan appropriately for the resources and funds necessary to maintain facilities funded by the Commission's programs. At its core, the program helps each district to document the components of the new or renovated facility, build a maintenance budget to address short and long-term maintenance needs, and reconcile a maintenance budget against available maintenance funds.

Cincinnati Public Schools is one of in4mation’s clients currently focused on its master facilities plan. A large challenge faced by the district is understanding how to plan maintenance budgets at the end of the master facility plan. The task is daunting considering that 95% of the buildings are being replaced. All the new buildings will have air conditioning, compared to only a handful eight years ago. Technology systems in the new facilities far exceed past building systems, requiring specialized training and knowledge. The OSFC’s MPA program and GBBN’s in4mation division are working to help the district understand how these radical changes to the physical environment will impact the district’s long term maintenance budget.   

To date, the district has completed 18 of 51 schools in their billion dollar master facility plan, with seven additional schools scheduled to open in 2008. The in4mation team provides the database to collect information about the estimated 5.4 million square feet of planned construction and renovation. The ARCHIBUS solution is used to capture equipment, fixtures, flooring, finishes, roofing, vendors, manufacturers, preventive maintenance expectations, and warranties for each new school completed in the master plan. With standard life expectancies and replacement costs built for each asset type, the ARCHIBUS solution is a valuable repository of knowledge about district’s infrastructure. The ARCHIBUS solution, currently used to track over 24,000 work orders per year, is connected to the thousands of assets that have been collected to date. 

Knowledge of the physical environment is a key component of maintenance planning. GBBN’s in4mation brings a mix of experience, facility data collection, benchmarking perspective, understanding of maintenance concepts, and common sense to the maintenance planning process.