Managing and maintaining educational facilities – whether public or private, elementary or graduate school – takes 24/7 effort and attention. The daily to-do list of custodial and maintenance teams is a constant challenge for even the the most capable facilities service providers. When done right, however, facilities management can empower educators in the classroom, create a more dynamic learning environment, and support the success of every student.
Those positive outcomes rely on more than physical cleanliness and comfort – especially in our current environment. A 2021 study by Hart Research found that 71% of educators surveyed were either somewhat or very worried about getting COVID-19 at work and then infecting someone in their family. For all of us at HES, these sentiments reinforce the importance of facilities management in schools, where a successful return to the classroom happens only by cleaning for health as well as appearances.
Maintaining focus in a post-pandemic classroom
School administrators and teachers have experienced so much uncertainty in their workplaces since 2020. They’ve developed and deployed new teaching methods and expanded hygiene protocols. Through every change, educators have worked to connect with students and maintain high academic standards.
We know it’s a lot to take on. That’s why we see custodial services – in particular, intensified cleaning and disinfecting programs – as such a crucial part of the post-pandemic learning environment.
An experienced facilities management partner knows how to satisfy health and safety requirements across every area of your school facilities, from classrooms and cafeterias to bathrooms and dormitories. Paired with software that tracks cleaning tasks and performance in real time, your custodial program can create a heightened sense of ease and well-being across campus.
This, in turn, helps classroom staff focus on their primary educational mission: teaching students, free from distractions related to custodial, maintenance, or groundskeeping issues.
Other benefits of facilities management programs
Beyond providing an optimized learning environment, facilities management programs create other important benefits, like employee satisfaction which results in staff retention. Hiring and retaining highly qualified teachers has always been a challenge – and for many school districts, the pandemic has only magnified staffing issues.
That’s where maintenance programs can help. Research shows that facility quality is an important predictor of teacher attrition, with key factors including:
- Indoor air quality
- Temperature comfort
- Acoustic comfort
An experienced facilities management team can offer short- and long-term plans for preventive and corrective maintenance in all of these areas. Considering the cost of teacher turnover – financial as well as social – a carefully constructed and expertly run program can provide efficiencies, reduce administrative burdens, and save money in the long run.
Plus, well-maintained facilities contribute to healthier students and staff, which can reduce absenteeism and improve student performance – perhaps the most valuable benefit of all.
Key components of a facilities management program
We’ve talked about why facilities management is important schools, but what about the actual program? Here’s our rundown of key components in any facilities management program.
First, make sure you choose a provider that holds energy conservation, sustainability, public health, and safety as equally important priorities.
Second, ensure you’ll get the results you expect by setting clear priorities and benchmarks for success. For example, HES clients benefit from our data-backed Business Value Review, or BVR. Each BVR shares valuable insights with school administrators and onsite team members, allowing us to look “above the tree line” to spot strengths as well as opportunities for improvement.
Third, always work with a facilities management team with experience in all of the following.
- Standard and deep cleaning
- Integrated disinfecting plans to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19
- Day porters and attendants
- Green cleaning program, including standardized sustainable cleaning procedures
- Floor maintenance
- Carpet care
- Light fixtures
- Post-construction cleanup
- Quality assurance and reporting
- Event venue services
- Recycling programs
- Moves and set-ups
- Landscape design and maintenance programs
- Coordinated facility beautification programs
- Turf and athletic field management
- Irrigation system management
- Inclement weather action plans and equipment
- Scheduled mowing programs
- Ornamental plant maintenance
- Sustainable grounds management programs
- Grounds and parking lot monitoring
- Pest management
- Weed abatement
- Tree cultivation and management
- Preventive and corrective maintenance
- Project / vendor contract management and peer review
- Coordination, supervision, and inspection of PM work
- Emergency preparedness planning
- Coordination of trade personnel such as electricians, HVAC technicians, plumbers, carpenters, and painters
- Skill-based training for technical services
- Work order management
- Purchase order and inventory management
- Capital planning
- Energy management
Work with the right facilities management team
Want to know more about how the right facilities management partner can improve your educational facilities? Contact us at [email protected].
The illustrations, instructions, and principles contained in this website are general in scope and for marketing purposes. We assume no responsibility for: managing or controlling customer activities, implementing any recommended measures, or identifying all potential hazards.