School facilities management is the practice of managing and maintaining all school-owned facilities and assets.

Running a school district requires coordination of countless moving parts, but effective facilities maintenance and management gives you the tools to organize and manage everything that needs to happen in your district.

With great school facilities management practices in place, your teachers and students are free to focus on learning without distractions.

What are the benefits of school facilities management?

Still not convinced your district should be investing in facility management? Here are some of the benefits of well-maintained and managed school facilities:

Help students learn, and help teachers teach

Studies have proved that learning environment has a significant impact on students’ desire to participate, and ability to learn, in school. A well-maintained school building keeps students engaged in academics, resulting in greater information retention in the classroom.

Teachers also benefit from school facilities management investments. Studies have shown that a well-maintained workplace for teachers can reduce turnover rates by as much as 25%. 

Reduce spending on facility management

It’s a cliché, but school facilities management is no exception to the rule “you get out of it what you put into it.” The more you invest in improving your facility management processes, the more you will see cost savings and improved efficiency.

Ultimately, school facility management reduces districts’ labor, energy, and equipment costs.

Extend lifetime value of buildings and assets

Proper care and maintenance can significantly lengthen your assets’ lifespan and improve their quality.

Utilizing techniques like preventive maintenance scheduling can ensure your team is properly caring for your district’s assets. 

Improve organization and decrease stress on facilities managers

Effective school facilities management systems take the guesswork and chaos out of running a district. With facilities management strategies in place to organize and simplify processes like maintenance requests, equipment rentals, and scheduling preventive maintenance, you’ll reduce your team’s stress levels.

Commonly-asked questions about school facilities management

At this point, you may be asking a couple of questions about what exactly school facilities management entails. We’ll do our best to answer the most pressing questions below.

Which parts of a district’s operations are managed under the facilities department?

There is a lot that goes into a well-managed and maintained school. While every district’s needs are different, we’ve listed some of the most important assets to focus on when creating a school facilities management plan.

  • Buildings and premises: School facilities management enables facility leaders to better maintain the physical premises of their district. Routine maintenance and preventive maintenance schedules ensure buildings and premises are clean and functioning properly, ultimately reducing work order request backlog.
  • Energy and gas usage: Energy and gas bills may seem like a sunk cost, something your facility just has to bite the bullet and pay. With facilities management, however, conservation techniques can be implemented that reduce spending on gas and energy, simultaneously cutting costs and aiding in sustainability efforts. Learn more about sustainable facilities management.
  • Health and safety compliance: If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that school facilities management can save lives! Part of an effective management plan is ensuring your facility meets all health and safety compliance expectations and has the proper emergency protocols in place. Having a way to reference historical maintenance, procedures, and incidents during an inspection is of utmost importance.
  • Facility maintenance and work order request management: The work order process can either be a huge headache or a simple, efficient way to resolve issues in your facility. Facility management can improve your district’s work order process to reduce backlog, improve communication, and create a better experience for everyone involved.
  • Space rental: Managing space rentals effectively means never double-booking a room again. Well-managed schools have systems in place that allows staff and community members to utilize school buildings for meetings and events. 
  • Transportation scheduling: Transportation scheduling simplifies planning for field trips, staff outings, and more. Effective transportation management ensures requests move through the established approval chain and important documents like itineraries and insurance information are organized. 
  • Parts inventory: Managing parts inventory can be a challenge, but when effective systems are in place to track and organize inventory the task isn’t quite as daunting. Well-maintained parts inventory means all items are documented, stored in an organized manner, and systems are in place to prompt reorders when stock drops below a certain threshold. 
  • Asset and resource rental: Similar to space rental, managing asset rentals ensures your staff has full access to necessary resources without worrying about double-booking.

How should my facility get started?

Getting started might seem like a big undertaking, but improving your school’s facility management processes doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing system redesign. Small but effective changes can lead to significant improvement at low costs.  

  • Maintenance checklists: To begin your school facilities management improvement journey, consider implementing maintenance checklists. Checklists are an excellent way to ensure all tasks are completed fully, creating standardization across all technicians.
  • Preventive maintenance schedule: Creating a preventive maintenance schedule enables you to stay ahead of maintenance issues in your facility before they occur, decreasing work order backlog.
  • Work order request form: A comprehensive work order request form also goes a long way in improving communication between requesters and maintenance technicians. View FMX’s downloadable work order request form for a free template.

For a more comprehensive school facilities management improvement, consider investing in facilities management software for schools. Facilities management software is a digital tool that centralizes and organizes management processes. Investing in software is a great option for facilities that are ready to give their maintenance management system a serious (but necessary) makeover. 

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to invest in a facility management software system, taking steps to improve your district with school facilities management will create a lasting impact that aids teachers in teaching and helps students learn. 

Have more questions about school facilities management or anything else regarding maintenance management in your district?

Ask the Advisors is a panel of K-12 experts prepared to answer any question you send their way. Check it out