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The phrase deferred maintenance often comes up at the worst of times. Maybe a building system has failed at the worst possible time. Or an organization has compiled its backlog of maintenance projects and is bemoaning the massive dollar amount.
So it’s refreshing to hear of an organization that has actually made significant progress in addressing deferred maintenance and improved the conditions of its facilities.
Anyone visiting the campus of Murray State University since classes ended for the 2019 spring semester has seen deferred maintenance projects on full display. Projects of varying degrees on multiple structures are underway or have already been completed, with more expected in the coming year, according to the Murray Ledger & Times.
In the budget for fiscal year 2020 is $1 million in additional funds, specifically for deferred maintenance projects that are either being scheduled for that time frame or will develop. In addition, the Regents approved a new $7 per-credit hour fee this year that specifically is designed to address deferred maintenance issues.
“We now have very detailed plans in place for these projects,” says Bob Jackson, the university’s present. The university also has been forced to respond to the burden of aging facilities in ways less related to maintenance and preservation.
Thanks in large part to funding reduction for sources on which higher education institutions used to depend for ways of financing building preservation, some Murray State structures do not exist anymore. The latest example was the razing of the only building on the campus named in honor the longest-tenured president at Murray State, Dr. Ralph Woods. Woods Hall, a former dormitory, was demolished recently after it became uninhabitable.
Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.