The relationship some school boards have with their budgets is often a balancing act of priorities. Most publicly funded school boards aren't operating with bottomless financial resources, and administrators and facilities leaders often must implement creative solutions to stretch dollars as far as they can.
Unfortunately, with all the factors that need to be accounted for in school district budgets, corrective maintenance, not to mention capital planning, can fall by the wayside. While it may not be be easy to obtain new funds that can be devoted to maintenance and repairs, there are practices and tools that can be used to make existing monetary resources more efficient and prove the need for additional funding.
Because of this lack of funding, many districts find themselves approaching maintenance from a reactive position rather than a proactive one. This pattern of deferred maintenance is far from ideal, as it leaves school districts playing catch-up on their repair projects using whatever money is available. One school district in Burbank reportedly found all but $98,000 of its more than $5 million deferred maintenance funds diverted to other uses, leaving many repair jobs sitting unfinished.
The benefit of streamlined management
While administrators can't create money where none exists, they can make sure that their process is as efficient as possible to maximize the effectiveness of existing resources. A comprehensive corrective maintenance software solution can be a helpful resource for streamlining the maintenance request process, prioritizing tasks and keeping both maintenance staff and clients updated on the status of outstanding requests.
This type of effective facility management, facilitated with the use of a corrective maintenance software package such as that provided by SchoolDude, is a driving force behind implementing best practices when it comes to managing school maintenance on a budget. The first step is for maintenance staff to conduct a thorough assessment of the facility to triage the list of current maintenance needs and determine which ones are immediate concerns and which ones could be deferred. This is also a great time to carry out any preventative maintenance allowed for by the budget - a step that can save time and money that would be spent fixing otherwise avoidable malfunctions.
A thorough facility survey of the state of repairs, as well as an inventory of repair parts and personnel currently on hand, are invaluable to a facility manager both to stay on top of potential problem points before they become larger maintenance issues, but also as a means to build a case to potentially petition for additional maintenance dollars from the board.