Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest College (Cedar Crest) is an all-women’s college located in a rural-suburban setting in Allentown, PA. Cedar Crest’s 84 acre campus is home to 1,600 students. The campus consists of over 20 buildings, with varying uses; from academic, residence, and administrative, to an indoor aquatic center. Like many campuses, their buildings also vary in age from over a century old to only a few years, with the last building constructed on campus in 2004.
Recently, Cedar Crest chose us to complete a facility condition assessment on its buildings, to identify and prioritize projects, costs, and funding levels necessary to keep its buildings in good condition.
Throughout the assessment, our team identified over 400 projects on-campus. Building mechanical, electrical, & plumbing (MEP) systems needed the most attention; accounting for a majority of the total projects, at 55%. Building exteriors, superstructures, and roof categories accounted for the second highest, 27%. All other project categories totaled 18%.
All of the projects identified were classified into one of four priority designations; immediate, high, medium, and low, based on the college’s guidelines and the identified project or systems’ impact on life/safety, critical building operation, and other factors. The majority of projects fell into the high and medium priority designations, which should be implemented within the next 2-7 years. Very few projects were of immediate priority.
Overall the facility condition index, FCI, for the entire campus was rated as “fair”. The FCI is an index ratio to express how much deferred maintenance exists relative to the replacement value of the building. However, that rating was an average of all the buildings; some of the buildings were in excellent and good condition, requiring little work, while others were in worse condition, needing more attention and funding.
Now that the assessment is complete, Cedar Crest knows what it would need to budget for in a 10 year capital plan to keep its facilities in good condition. If, as in many cases, the budget falls short of the needs, Cedar Crest can focus their budget dollars on projects and buildings critical to the campus and college’s mission, that are of the highest priority and impact.
Utilizing our FM-Assistant software, they can also track and report progress, as well as update the plan when projects are completed, or are reprioritized. This gives the facilities staff and administrators the information necessary to make more informed decisions as they manage their campus facilities’ needs and condition, in an ever evolving environment.