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Deferred Maintainance

“Significant amount of need exists, specifically in reliability and safety/code projects. In order to properly address need, the type of need, the time frame of need, and the building value must all be considered. UMass Dartmouth will never have enough investment to fix all facilities in the foreseeable future. However, no two buildings are created equal. Identify all buildings on campus with high program value. Prioritize need within those spaces to tackle first.Identify buildings in poor condition with limited program value. Develop a transitional plan to remove facilities from the building inventory or large renovation plans to meet future programmatic needs.Once buildings are “reset”, operating costs should play into specific facilities management decisions to maintain facilities.”

­– Sightlines – February-2013 [1]

Deferred Maintenance (DM) was a major focus in FY2013.  UMass-Dartmouth partnered with Sightlines, a facilities asset advisory firm, on the development of an Integrated Facilities Plan (IFP).  The goal of this was to create a common integrated database of campus needs for the next ten years.  The database is comprehensive and includes necessary repair / maintenance and modernization projects.  Conclusions from the Sightlines IFP are quoted above and through the IFP database we are reevaluating and reprioritizing the Basic Infrastructure items included on the Capital Plan.  Major findings of the plan include:

  • $426.6 Million in Identified Total Deferred Maintenance Needs;
  • 6% or $23.6 Million Identified as Reliability Projects:  The projects are defined as “issues of imminent failure or compromise to the system that may result in interruption to program or use of space.”
  • 9% Identified as Safety / Code:  “Code compliance issues and institutional safety priorities or items that are not in conformance with current codes, even though the system is “grandfathered” and exempt from current code.”
  • 31% Identified as Asset Preservation:  “Projects that preserve or enhance the integrity of building systems or building structure, or campus infrastructure.”
  •  $180 / GSF Deferred Maintenance Backlog - $186M is required to get UMass-Dartmouth’s backlog to $100 / GSF.  This amount per GSF was the highest of the peer institutions Sightlines compared us against.
  • Utilizing Sightlines Net Asset Value Index the majority of UMass-Dartmouth’s facilities were considered to be in the lowest category “Transitional / Gut Reno Stage”.
  • To just halt the growth of backlog UMass-Dartmouth needs to make an annual investment of $25M.

 With this data from Sightlines and the mandate to meet or exceed the net DM backlog reduction of 10% by FY2016 a total investment of $117.M would be required.

Summary of Facilities Portfolio

UMass Dartmouth is situated on a 710 acre parcel located equidistant between New Bedford and Fall River.  The creation of the campus was driven by a master plan developed by Paul Rudolph, then Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University starting in 1962.  There are 15 main buildings in the academic core and 13 residence hall areas. The Dartmouth campus has over 2 million square feet at its’ main campus and the majority of the facilities were constructed before 1975.  Satellite locations include the School of Marine Science in New Bedford, the College of Visual & Performing Arts (STAR Store) in New Bedford and the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River.  The University of Massachusetts Law School located in Dartmouth falls into this portfolio as well.

Recent Projects Focusing on Deferred Maintenance

The $46M renovation and expansion of the Claire T. Carney Library has shown what can be accomplished but also demonstrated the cost of taking on a full scale renewal project.  Due to a state funded budget that could not be expanded the most critical items were addressed but an estimated $14M Exterior Envelope Repair (FY14 Priority #23) was not.

FY14 #2 - Energy / Water Savings Project (FY13 #2)

Utilizing feedback from this project has reduced the current DM backlog by between $7-8M.

FY14 #3 - Research Laboratory Improvements (FY13#14)

Has spent more than $5M through FY13 concentrating on repurposing underutilized space into new research labs.

The campus also strategically addressed DM needs in FY13 while working to prioritize a full Capital Renewal Plan.  These DM projects included:

  • Completion of the Dion Roof Replacement - $760K;
  • Completion of a Building Envelope Study for SENG - $100K.  This study recommended a $16M Exterior Envelope Repair (FY14 Priority #19);
  • Completion of a Steam and Condensate Line Replacement to the Campus Center - $450K;
  • Completion of an Absorption Chiller Replacement for CVPA - $575K;
  • Planning for a Steam and Condensate Line Replacement for the East Residence Halls.  This project has received $750K in funding for FY14 from DCAMM.

Long-term construction strategy to reduce the DM backlog

 Strategic Roadmap:  How does UMass Dartmouth approach and meet this goal?

Identification of high priority critical repair projects that correct deficiencies, eliminate and prevent ongoing infrastructure damage to our facilities and align with the stated strategic goals of the University.  These strategic investments would target:

  • Building exterior envelope and roof repairs - these projects would protect the interior systems of each facility mitigating the affects of water infiltration and weather damage
  • Campus Utility Infrastructure Improvements - Continuation of the replacement of the 40 year old steam infrastructure that provides for both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.  This investment would continue to improve operational efficiency and reduce energy consumption.  In FY13 UMass Dartmouth has undertaken a master study of this infrastructure and is near completion.  This study will allow us to prioritize and monetize our infrastructure requirements
  • Building mechanical / electrical / plumbing system modernization and repair - build upon the work started by the Energy Performance Project that is currently being managed by the Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM) and the construction / implementation by NORESCO.  Utilizing the feedback from the current implementation that projects to address the most significant DM needs and reduce the current backlog by between $7-8M.  

The building condition assessment performed by NORESCO concluded that:

 "building systems at UMD are in a severe state of disrepair, with many systems having minimal, if any, preventive maintenance since the original campus construction, most of which dates to the 1960s and 1970s.  The central campus's unique architecture that makes it very difficult to access building mechanical systems has been a major contributor to the lack of equipment maintenance.  As a result, most HVAC mechanical systems now require significant repair or outright replacement."[2]

Concentrate critical investment on the building portfolio of “Freshman Experience”.  This puts a priority on facilities that are critical to the recruitment and retention of students.  Sightlines has placed a cost for the building needs at $109.5M:

  • (4) Freshman Resident Halls;
  • Fitness Center;
  • Tripp Athletic Center;
  • MacLean Campus Center;
  • Auditorium Annex (Admissions);
  • Residents’ Dining Hall;
  • Claire T. Carney Library;
  • Liberal Arts.

Construction of a $12-16M Central Administrative Services Building to consolidate all of Facilities operations and other support functions like the mail room, print shop and central storage to free up much needed space in the academic facilities for learning and research environments.

How will the University move towards these goals and aspirations when the majority of its' facilities are approaching their fiftieth anniversary and the progressive impacts of the lack of Deferred Maintenance are very apparent?  Almost to the breaking point where there is no proactive planning but all reactive functioning.  The state of our facilities is nearly to the critical state where they can no longer just be maintained but need to have a full force capital renewal effort that transforms while preserves our core assets; Modernization of the buildings to accommodate the differing needs of today's academic environment while reflecting on the institution's past. These include items of all facets that affect building performance, energy efficiency and how our buildings are utilized.  Any discussion of deficiencies on campus must start with addressing the Basic Infrastructure needs.  For this reason the Number 1 Priority of the FY14 Capital Plan Update is the $69M in Identified Basic Infrastructure Repairs.

[1] Sightlines LLC “Integrated Facilities Plan – Final Report – University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth”, February 2013

[2] NORESCO, Investment Grade Audit Report: University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (October 12, 2010) p4

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