Dude Solutions announced the results of its second annual SchoolDude Facilities Budget, Staffing and Operations Study of more than 500 K-12 and higher education facilities, maintenance and operations professionals, conducted in Q1 2017. As schools and universities deal with aging facilities infrastructures as well as advanced technological needs, nearly 40 percent of K-12 and higher education respondents report increased maintenance and operation budgets.
The 2017 SchoolDude Facilities Budget, Staffing and Operations Study was conducted in Q1 2017 via an online survey and includes a representative sample of educational institutions. There were 514 responses from K-12 and Higher Education across eight countries and 46 states. Institutions surveyed include public K-12 districts, charter schools, private and independent schools, community colleges, 4-year public universities, and 4-year private universities. Institutions ranged in student size and type, representing the broader market. Departments represented include maintenance and facilities, building and grounds, business operations, physical plant, finance, events/facility use and the superintendent’s office.
“As the average education facility enters its fifth generation of service, the SchoolDude Facilities, Staffing and Operations study reveals important benchmarking data for education operations, facility maintenance and capital planning decisions,” says Nick Mirisis, vice president of marketing for Dude Solutions. “Key performance indicators show that more budget and more staff don’t always equal high service. Instead, operations leadership is critical in helping operations teams perform at a high level and leveraging the right mix of people, systems, and processes to achieve success.”
After-Hours Shifts Help Accommodate Workload
Across both the K-12 and higher education sectors most maintenance (80 percent) is handled in house. While K-12 maintenance personnel maintain three times as much area as higher education, higher education acreage and median square feet maintained increased 24 percent and 16 percent, respectively, over the past year. To meet these needs, more than 70 percent of education facilities teams are running after-hours shifts, both evenings and nights, to be more productive and reduce disruptions to the learning environment. This is an increase from 66 percent in 2016.
Custodians outnumber maintenance personnel 4:1 for K-12 institutions and the overall median age of facilities professionals across both sectors is 45 years old.
Low Emphasis on Preventive Maintenance Concerning
Surprisingly, the majority (36 percent) of respondents dedicate less than 10 percent of their resources to preventive or planned maintenance (PM) – a worrisome trend for an aging infrastructure that will need more PM work to ensure that all assets are up and running efficiently.
New Findings on Energy, Safety and Communication
This year, SchoolDude expanded the survey to also address safety, energy and communication needs. While 85 percent of respondents state that Facilities and Maintenance teams manage energy consumption, 62 percent do not perform utility metering. Safety is always a key focus for education institutions but is also a major investment as 79 percent state that safety concerns have impacted budgets. For communication, 86 percent of respondent say they meet with their board annually, and nearly 60 percent meet with them monthly or quarterly.
“Addressing perception gaps is crucial to any professional environment,” says Mirisis. “To help reconcile facilities and operations’ work, we recommend meeting with key stakeholders and supervisors quarterly.”
A SchoolDude webinar covering the findings will be presented on Tuesday, May 23, at 2pm ET. To attend the webinar, please register here.