Everybody needs a regular check-up, and your school facility is no different. School districts must often balance maintenance and repair tasks with replacement and upgrade projects. To this end, a comprehensive inspection of the school can be an asset in terms of identifying areas that need attention, and triaging maintenance to maximize repair efficiency. By performing regular facility inspections, it may help you to save money that otherwise may be spent on unnecessary maintenance tasks, potentially even freeing up cash for capital projects down the road.
What to assess
What all does a facilities assessment entail? After all, budgetary concerns can often limit the scope of non-essential resource expenditures, as many districts with extensive deferred maintenance budgets can attest. But facilities teams are advised to avoid such audits at their own peril, as the money that can be saved by inspecting and prioritizing maintenance issues early can be significant. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, forgoing preventive maintenance can cost up to four times as much as carrying it out - every $1 spent on a preventive task can save $4 down the road in breakdown maintenance.
This is one of the main benefits of a facility audit - it can enable you to see the state of each of the systems in your facility, including the building itself, and determine which areas could benefit from preventive maintenance. A proper assessment should cover the building itself, the grounds and any essential equipment as well in order to provide the most comprehensive coverage. Granted, budget can be a concern, and thus things such as security assessments or even overviews of the IT systems are generally not covered by a standard audit.
Right tools for the job
Carrying out an extensive facility assessment involves the generating and processing of a lot of information. Administrators who wish to include regular assessments as part of their planned maintenance strategy should consider a facilities management solution, that includes corrective maintenance, preventive maintenance and capital planning/facility assessment components. This centralized resource can be useful in closely monitoring the maintenance status of buildings, equipment and grounds, making it easier to plan preventive maintenance and respond to corrective maintenance needs.
The time and financial savings offered by more effective maintenance and capital planning and forecasting management can even serve to supplement the capital budget, allowing for necessary upgrades to essential systems to further ward against repair issues.