Taking the plunge to invest in school refurbishment is a quandary facing many Heads, Governors and Local Authorities. Hopefully, you have a well-planned maintenance schedule which makes the decision for you, but, if not, here’s some advice to help you make the decision at the right time.
We have covered some telltale signs that your building is due a refurbishment in another blog post, but what about timing your refurbishment right in terms of when to finally justify starting the project?
Look To Your Maintenance Schedule
As said, if you have a robust maintenance schedule which is accounted for in your long-term budgeting, the decision of when to invest in a refurbishment is pretty self-explanatory.
If you don’t yet have a maintenance schedule, start documenting the estimated lifespan of the following areas of your school or college building and everything related to each area;
- Building Fabric; as in the structural or permanent features of your building like the roof, windows and glazing, drainage and heating systems.
- Decorative Features; classroom, corridor and all other finishes, from the floor coverings to the ceiling tiles.
- FF&E; all furniture, fittings and equipment have a practical life-cycle in terms of how durable they are; but also in terms of technology advancements. Make sure your classroom technology meets contemporary teaching and learning requirements and that your furniture generally isn’t outdated and impractical.
- IT Equipment; this is often budgeted separately from refurbishment spending, but worth including in your maintenance schedule if you are creating one from scratch.
The Building Is Impacting Enrolment Numbers
Regardless of what any maintenance schedule may or may not say, the moment you start gathering regular feedback that the building environment itself is the reason students are heading elsewhere, it is time to invest in a refurbishment.
After a few years of reduced funding thanks to enrolment numbers being in decline, the ability to justify spending on infrastructure becomes more difficult as marketing and educational spending starts to take untouchable priority.
Different levels of refurbishment are available and some smaller touches can make a winning difference when parents and prospective students are deciding whether to study with you. Read more about different levels of refurbishment options here.
Something will always come along in the future to eat away at that once-prized budget surplus. Many schools and colleges end up spending it on short-term items such as disposable teaching resources or an overly expensive marketing campaign.
The decision needs to be made whether it’s worth repeatedly marketing your college to a limited number of prospective students just because the funds are available, or whether it’s better to take the opportunity to make a lasting investment with years of returns.
The Facilities Are Impacting Teaching And Learning
And last but most certainly not least, the moment your building and features within it begin impacting teaching and learning, it is most definitely the right time to invest in a refurbishment. Sometimes you can do everything to improve teacher morale, but the facilities they are working in can undermine all of your hard work.
Either a partial or full refurbishment can dramatically improve teaching and learning success. The simple addition of more adaptive furniture can transform an outdated classroom space. Or if the opportunity is viable, altering the internal layout of your building entirely can bring your building right up-to-date and make it future proof at the same time.
It all depends on your building’s most pressing needs.
Find Out Which Refurbishment Is Right For You
If you would like to find out more about the different types of refurbishment available to you, check out this FREE guide.
It also includes a tool to help you assess what kind of refurbishment – if any – your school or college building needs. Press Download Now and take the first step to making your building a better place.