Renovation More Beneficial than New Construction

Data and analysis leads to campus renewal strategy

Background

Le Moyne College lacked a comprehensive plan for addressing its substantial programmatic and deferred maintenance needs, including their science building, which was in need of a full renovation. Le Moyne needed a process to find the right balance between adding new space, stewarding existing buildings, and investing in operations. Given the complexities and urgency for these assessments, Le Moyne retained Sightlines to ensure data objectivity and credibility and for the creation of a strategy to ensure that the campus appearance and infrastructure were consistent with their academic reputation.

 Analysis

Sightlines’ Facilities Benchmarking & Analysis was the perfect instrument to gather data, benchmark assessments, analyze classroom utilization, and develop an inventory of capital needs. Through Sightlines process, Le Moyne was presented with a vivid view of their aging buildings and campus. More than 80% of the total space was older than 25 years, and 58% of the space between 25 – 50 years old needed a lifecycle update. Shortfalls in capital spending lead to declining net asset value for the college.

The growing backlog and maintenance issues were putting a significant, increasing strain on the facilities operations team. The actual backlog of needs was actually much larger than previous estimates. All of this information helped Le Moyne make solid decisions about their future.

 Results

A process was developed to more fully document and prioritize deferred maintenance needs and to develop a multiyear capital plan to include options for a state-of-the-industry science complex, while also addressing needs across other major programs and services. Rather than constructing a large new science complex, it was decided that renovation of existing space and the addition of a smaller space would serve their needs and be more cost efficient overall.

The newly developed building portfolios, combined with a disciplined capital planning and funding processes, led to the core of a multiyear capital plan, which included renovations, relocation of offices and improvements to the utility infrastructure.

Le Moyne has now invested more than 25% of the facilities replacement value into their campus renewal strategies—achieving design awards and high praise from their community, their board, and all stakeholder groups.