There's a significant maintenance issue plaguing many schools across the country, and it's closer to home than you might think. It's not natural disasters or a new species of termite - it's simply the fact that U.S. schools are getting older.
Increasing age is a creeping problem encroaching on more and more districts, and its silent approach brings a host of potential maintenance issues that administrators and facilities teams should be aware of.
One principal factor influencing the age of public schools across the U.S. is the country's aging population. As the National Center for Education Statistics reported, the baby boomer generation was a huge factor driving school construction decades ago, and since that portion of the population has grown, we've been left with an influx of aging school buildings. In fact, according to the source, around 28 percent of public schools in the U.S. were built before 1950, with 45 percent being built prior to 1969. This means that almost half of the schools in the country are around 45 years old.
Unfortunately, as these schools age, they accumulate more than just students. Older buildings can be a hotbed of maintenance concerns - not only are aging facilities more prone to corrective maintenance issues, but keeping these buildings updated to meet new compliance standards can be a full-time job for facilities teams. And of course, the risk of mounting deferred maintenance weighs heavily over the heads of older schools in particular. For example, the Providence Journal reported that Rhode Island, a state whose schools are an average of 58 years old, has deferred an estimated $600 million in planned maintenance operations. Unfortunately, with older schools, the consequence of putting off repair and upgrade procedures can be exponential.
Revitalizing through maintenance
Administrators responsible for older schools must take a multifaceted approach to making sure their facilities remain up to standard and stay safe and comfortable for occupants. It's important to keep abreast of any changing compliance standards, such as new regulations governing air quality or temperature. A facilities assessment can provide a benchmark as to the current state of HVAC equipment. Fortunately, while the task seems daunting, facilities teams can turn to technology to get a leg up.
A cloud-based facilities management solution can not only provide a centralized resource for data tracking and inventory, it can also be updated regularly by administrators and accessed by maintenance staff as needed. This can ensure there's no disconnect between the district office and the on-site repair teams when it comes to necessary operations.
SchoolDude's solutions can help with these areas and much more. Live presentations with a product expert are offered multiple times a week. See available times.