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The challenges of effectively maintaining aging institutional and commercial facilities has prompted many organizations to search for creative solutions. Managers and technicians in most maintenance and engineering departments have looked for ways to perform their tasks more efficiently to stretch scarce financial resources. Others have embraced preventive and predictive maintenance as ways to head off major problems.
Still others, in order to cut down on the amount of time, energy and money required to maintain these facilities, have taken a more drastic step — closing, selling and demolishing aging buildings.
The University of Missouri is cutting down on building space to reduce maintenance costs following concerns about state budget cuts for higher education, according to KSHB. University planners have identified where to divest and demolish campus buildings in an effort to remove 750,000 square feet of space by the 2023-2024 school year.
The proposal excludes residence halls and athletic facilities, instead focusing on buildings funded through tuition or state money. The goal is to bring the school's total building space in line with its operations budget.
Gerald Morgan, the university's director of space planning and management, also recommended other space reduction methods, such as online classes, shared conference rooms and working from home.
"We have to do something different because we are going to continue to not get the money we need from the state for maintenance," Morgan says. "That continues to dwindle."
Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.