By Ameeta Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, VFA, Inc.
Unlike businesses that may relocate as their needs change, most colleges and universities have a long-term relationship with their physical site and buildings, which form an important part of their identity. As stewards of the physical plant, facility managers are responsible for ensuring that all its facilities – including classrooms, dormitories, libraries, dining halls, and student centers – are effectively meeting the needs of students, staff and faculty.
Given the challenges of today’s economy, colleges and universities have to make difficult choices when it comes to deciding which building systems to repair or replace, which renovation projects to complete, and when to build new. How do the costs and benefits of renovating an aging dorm compare with replacing it? What is the top priority: building a new athletic center, or expanding facilities for research? The answer is not always easy or as obvious as it may seem and requires effective facilities capital planning and management.
With the right tools, FM teams can make defensible decisions in support of the school’s mission and goals. How are you making difficult choices today?