Case Studies

University of North Carolina

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Client

The University of North Carolina is a multi-campus university composed of all 16 public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees. It serves more than 183,000 students, offering degrees in over 300 disciplines in areas including liberal arts, medicine, nursing, education, law, pharmacy, engineering, and performing arts. UNC’s enrollment has grown substantially in recent years, and is expected to exceed 235,000 by 2012.

Challenge

UNC faced unprecedented growth in enrollment, straining its existing facilities infrastructure. Meanwhile, there were significant disparities in facility conditions across its campuses. Historically, UNC’s condition assessment program was restricted to identifying deferred maintenance issues and categorizing needs in one of four priority levels. Without comparable information about facility needs across its campuses, UNC could not effectively prioritize capital projects and understand related costs. UNC sought a solution that would help it quickly evaluate the ability of existing facilities to support educational programs.

Solution

VFA provided a customized software solution that guided UNC staff in collecting and documenting information about facility conditions. This Web-based questionnaire promoted a uniform method for compiling data about facility conditions across UNC’s campuses. The system enabled UNC to generate facility condition reports for individual buildings, campuses and the system as a whole, and to calculate the cost of needed repair or renewal for each facility. Each campus was able to individually review specific deficiency and corrective data, while easily communicating this information across the entire University.

Results

VFA’s solution enabled UNC to streamline capital needs reporting, providing a view into system-wide facility requirements, and allowing administrators to make better informed decisions about the suitability of the university’s facilities to meet educational standards. School officials prepared defensible funding requests and leveraged project findings to convince 73% of voters in the statewide elections to approve a $3.1 billion bond issue to fund building and construction programs for the UNC system and as well as in state community colleges.

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