Technology, Aging Facilities Impacting Education Facility Budgets

A new education facilities survey reveals the impact technology changes in the classroom and aging facilities are having on public K-12 and higher education facility budgets. SchoolDude, a provider of education operations management solutions, surveyed more than 400 K-12 and higher education facilities, maintenance, and operations professionals for its inaugural “Facilities Budget, Staffing and Operations Study.’

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“What is the likelihood your school will consider redesigning classrooms in the near future to account for new technology coming into classrooms today?”

For more than 60 percent of respondents, facility management budget and staffing levels have either increased or stayed the same over the last five years. Technology is a key driver in this change. From iPads to smart boards, 91 percent of higher education respondents and 78 percent of K-12 respondents said technology is likely to impact classroom redesigns over the next year, affecting both the facilities and technology departments.

“We embarked on this study to help empower our clients and their facilities decisions with advanced operational and industry insights,” said Lee Prevost, chief strategy officer, Dude Solutions. “With the average age of school buildings crossing the 40-year mark, facility maintenance and capital planning decisions become more critical. These educational operations benchmarks are helpful for informing facilities-based decisions and justifying resources, budget and staff.”

The study revealed that, on average, maintenance and operations budgets make up 10 percent of schools’ overall budgets and 38 percent of budgets have increased over the last five years for both higher education and K-12. Another finding showed the average age of education facilities employees is 45 years old with a median tenure of 10 years for higher education and 12.5 years for K-12.

Other topics addressed in the survey include staff size and make up (maintenance, grounds, custodial), in-house versus outsourced services, facilities budget breakdowns, and facilities size. The full report is available online.