Monday, July 2, 2012

Westbrook Hall - Demolished Summer 2012

Preventive Maintenance & Major Repair 

On June 27 the Office of the Legislative Auditor released its report on preventive maintenance for buildings on the U of M Twin Cities campus.  The good news is this OLA conclusion:
Overall, we think that UMTC has created and implemented a fairly good preventive maintenance program for most University owned buildings on the Twin Cities campus.
See p. 38 of the report.
However, this conclusion does not apply to the major repairs and renovations for which state HEAPR bonds are necessary:
We define preventive maintenance as the regularly scheduled work  needed to keep buildings and building components operating efficiently and extend their useful life.  This definition excludes repairs and renovations that are most often undertaken with capital as opposed to general operating funds. . . .
Although UMTC's total capital spending for existing supported buildings from fiscal years 2002 through 2010 has been in line with the average spending of its peers, it has been less than the target UMTC's private consultant determined was necessary to preserve or "keep up" its existing buildings.   However, this does not necessarily reflect inadequate preventive maintenance, but rather that funding for current and future major repairs and renovations may be inadequate.  At some point, UMTC will need to replace large assets--due either to insufficient maintenance, breakdowns, or life cycles coming to an end--and UMTC may not have the necessary funds. . . .
For example, UMTC's fiscal year 2010 spending target for existing supported buildings established by its consultant was $115 million; actual spending came in at $56.8 million.
See pp. 2, 22 of the report (emphasis added).
In February President Kaler told state legislators that the HEAPR needs are "well over $500 million if not closer to $1 billion."  See Another Fine Mess.  
The OLA report does not address this staggering need.  See The Incredible Shrinking Capital Request Part II.

Michael W. McNabb
University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974
University of Minnesota Alumni Association life member

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