Data for Informed Decision-Making
data are necessary to inform good decision-making. It is as simple as
that. Thus, facilities maintenance plans should be based on a foundation
of high-quality data about all school facilities. Otherwise, planners
are forced to work without context, and strategic planning becomes strategic
guesswork. Planners must know what facilities exist, where they are located,
how old they are, and their status/condition. Are equipment and facilities
working as designed? As they should? As they need to be?
Informed decision-making requires ready access to high-quality data that describe the status of the organization's facilities, its needs, and capabilities.
Additionally, planners must consider projected needs for the future.
For example, demographers can provide important estimates of the projected
growth of student populations-that is, how many school-age children will
be in each neighborhood over the next decade. The only way to ensure that
planners have the information they need to make effective decisions is
to collect data in a regular, timely, and consistent manner. Data collection
is a time-consuming (and ongoing) task that cannot be overlooked. For
efficiency's sake, an education organization may partner with other entities
that share their interest in school facilities data-for example, the local
Chamber of Commerce, the state government, or even local real estate companies.
Chapter 3 of this Planning Guide discusses facilities audits (i.e.,
data collections), which are an important area of focus for responsible
facilities managers. The National Forum on Education Statistics has developed
a companion publication, Facilities Information Management: A Guide
for State and Local School Districts, to help address these issues.
It can be downloaded at http://nces.ed.gov/forum/publications.asp.
Facility planners need to consider data collection and use as a valuable tool in the planning process. Having "the facts" (i.e., good data) is always a good starting place for making good decisions.
Why plan for school facilities maintenance?
Why should an organization go to the trouble of
including stakeholders in facilities maintenance planning?
Be prepared to meet the needs of inconvenienced stakeholders -e.g., if major renovations are scheduled for public fields, efforts should be made to identify alternative sites for community use.
Why should an organization bother to develop a
"vision statement" for facilities maintenance?
Who reads a vision statement?
Every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the URLs listed in this Guide at the time of publication. If a URL is no longer working, try using the root directory to search for a page that may have moved. For example, if the link to http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/performance.html is not working, try http://www.epa.gov/ and search for "IAQ."
American School and University Annual Maintenance
and Operations Cost Study
Budgeting for Facilities Maintenance and Repair
Community Participation in Planning
Creating a Vision
Maintenance & Operations Costs
Maintenance Planning, Scheduling and Coordination
The Rural and Community Trust
A Visioning Process for Designing Responsive Schools
More information about accomplishing these checkpoints can be found on the pages listed in the right-hand column.