Balancing Projects the Franklin & Marshall Way

Priorities set course for future project planning

BackgroundSuccess Story: Franklin & Marshall College 1

Franklin & Marshall College’s capital program was predominately focused on new construction from 2006 to 2011. These strategic initiatives included a science building and residence hall that supported programmatic priorities. While focused on new construction, the facilities and finance departments understood the importance of tracking investment into existing spaces. Supported by data from Sightlines’ Facilities Benchmarking & Analysis, the need to increase investment into these spaces was identified. With this information, campus leaders wanted to know the best way to choose the order of projects.


F&M engaged Sightlines to apply their ROPA process, which identified, qualified, and priced 2,000 deferred maintenance, life cycle, and modernization needs for the next decade, consistently codifying each project within a single database. F&M evaluated each project by four key areas (reliability, urgency, building value, and impact to campus mission), and buildings were ranked from highest to lowest priority.


As a result of the analysis, 10 buildings were flagged as the highest priority and communicated to the Board of Trustees Building and Finance Committee. Based on the prioritization process, short- and long-term planning has been established. The Board committed to moving forward with renovations, with management using the 10-year plan as a roadmap to schedule their future facilities projects.

Priorities were based on these four factors:
  • Reliability – Is the project a reliability issue?
  • Urgency – Are needs coming due shortly?
  • Building value – What portion of the building is in good shape?
  • Impact to campus mission? Each building was placed in a building portfolio that aligned with the campus strategic mission.