- By Deb Moore
- December 14th, 2016
Did you know…
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is one birth every 7 seconds, one death every 13 seconds, and one international migrant every 29 seconds — a net gain of one person every 11 seconds.
As population and enrollment increase and M&O budgets decrease, the condition of our educational facilities declines. In the "2016 State of Our Schools" report released by the Center for Green Schools, the 21st Century School Fund and the National Council on School Facilities, the nation faces a projected annual shortfall of about $8 billion for maintenance and operations.
Once-available dollars are being withheld or diverted to salaries, unfunded mandates, or more popular/visible projects. Many institutions are left with barely enough staff and dollars to handle emergencies, let alone planned, predictive or preventative maintenance. The consequences are facilities that are in poor condition at best.
Case in Point... Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ "Report Card for America’s Infrastructure" depicts the condition and performance of America’s infrastructure – including schools – by assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement. Schools scored a ‘D’ in 2013, barely a passing grade.
- An increasing number of higher education leaders identified the challenges associated with “aging and expanding facilities” as one of the top reasons for change in the field. Insufficient facilities were also listed as one of the top threats to the success of higher education.
(Research conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD])
- Studies indicate that student achievement is linked with building quality. High student achievement has been shown to be associated with newer buildings, updated and properly maintained buildings, improved lighting, thermal comfort and indoor air quality.
(The Walls Speak: The Interplay of Quality Facilities, School Climate and Student Achievement)
- Recruit and Retain: Parents and prospective students often select an institution based on its facilities. (APPA)
- Poor school building conditions are a serious threat to the health and academic performance of students. Achievement is significantly lower in schools with poor conditions….
(American Federation of Teachers. Building Minds, Minding Buildings.)
Facilities condition has an impact on students, staff and institutions.