K-12 schools are facing a deferred maintenance backlog of over $271 billion.
2016 State of our Schools: America's K-12 Facilities Report
While there is a vast amount of research that shows that school facilities directly impact a students learning, many K-12 schools are not able to keep up with maintaining the physical campus due to resource contraints and competing priorities. Although schools feel the pressure to invest in their aging facilities, maintaining the physical appearance and functionality of a school is easier said than done.
Deferred Maintenance Backlog:
Despite years of knowing the deferred maintenance backlog is growing, many schools have no choice but to defer. Many schools measure the percentage of their facilities that need to be repaired in order to evaluate their backlog and then prioritize projects based on necessity. However, campuses range from needing a small amount of upgrades to some which are in desperate need of repair:
Proactively investing in campus improvements not only decreases the backlog of projects, but it also significantly reduces the amount of money needed for long-term repairs.
According to a 2014 Report by Sightlines every $1 spent on maintenance avoids $3 in capital reinvestment2, meaning schools should evaluate the full opportunity costs associated with deferring critical campus upgrades. For schools that don’t have capital budgeted, strategic financing solutions can be a good economic alternative when factoring in the opportunity costs incurred by deferring. Using interest-only payments during the installation with simple, fixed rate financing, campus leaders can address their growing backlog of projects in a way that is fiscally responsible for the school.
Source1: 2016 State of our Schools: America's K-12 Facilities report by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, the 21st Century School Fund and the National Council on School Facilities
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