Community use of education facilities is growing, yet most institutions do not have a system in place to accurately identify and track the actual cost of making facilities available to the public, according to a recent survey conducted by SchoolDude.
The study found that more than 70 percent of those responding use a manual system for tracking facility usage. In addition, 80 percent report that they do not know the true costs of using their facilities and face numerous other scheduling-related problems. With an average of 158 after-hours events per 1,000 students annually, education facility scheduling needs improvement.
Education buildings are the second least-utilized facilities in the United States — only churches are used less frequently. More and more people feel that schools should be more available to serve the community beyond the limits of the traditional school day.
Plus, the nation's schools are facing serious financial pressures. Limited facilities budgets and pressures on maintenance and operations departments to do more add to the challenge.
Maximizing the availability of school facilities could lead to a more favorable environment for future funding and bond referendums. In addition, charging groups the appropriate cost for using these facilities could further amortize the total cost of ownership. This approach to amortizing cost could allow schools to offer facilities at attractive, not-for-profit prices, while lowering the cost burden for the school.
Survey respondents indicated they could improve their management with a system that accurately measures, monitors and bills the actual cost of facilities use; reduces the time that staff spends on scheduling facilities; improves efficiency through better coordination with various departments regarding after-hours facility usage; and improves community relationships while increasing cost recovery.
For more information on the Educational Facility Scheduling and Usage Survey, visitSchoolDude.com or call (877)868-3833.
Average number of after-hours events per 1,000 students annually at education institutions.
Percent of survey respondents that use a manual system for tracking facility usage at their institution.
Percent of survey respondents reporting they do not know the true costs of using their facilities.
Percent of survey respondents that report, “No one knows the cost of an event” in response to a question on problems occurring in a district's scheduling process.
Percent of districts that do not coordinate the use of facilities with the county or other local governments.
Source: SchoolDude's Educational Facility Scheduling and Usage Survey.