Across the country today, private school enrollment data reflects a clear trend. Since 2020 and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, private schools are seeing more parents and prospective students touring their facilities and asking questions about moving away from public schools.
With the worst of the pandemic behind us, one might expect to see those numbers fall again, but that has not been the case. According to the Cato Institute, a recent survey found that 55% of responding private schools reported enrollment increases between the 2021-22 academic year and 2022-23.
It could be that the pandemic gave parents an opportunity to consider school environments in a way they had not before. More favorable student/teacher ratios might also have something to do with the rise in private school enrollment.
But regardless of the reasons why private school enrollment is rising, those responsible for operating, maintaining, and expanding private school facilities are feeling the strain. After all, in the Cato study referenced above, nearly half of the responding private schools reported having more applicants than available space.
So what are private school administrators doing to keep their campuses bright, safe, cost effective, and technologically competitive as they welcome more and more new students each year? They find a partner they can rely on.
When Volunteers and Donations Can’t Keep Up
Many of the challenges private schools face stem from the fact that the original donations or endowments used to open the school are long gone, and current operating expenses are limited to those that can be covered by student tuition alone.
Most private school administrators can tell you stories about their humble beginnings, about early enrollment numbers, and initial shoestring budgets. In all likelihood, however, those early days were funded through the generosity of an individual, a group of families, a local religious organization, or some combination of those sources.
As the years go by and the enrollment numbers rise, many private schools find that to improve or expand their facilities or to simply address life-cycle issues with critical infrastructure, they need funding beyond what they can generate from tuition alone.
This is where volunteers and donations play a critical role in the ongoing operations of most private schools in the United States. Without that support, many private schools are unable to keep pace with their mission.
Still, while donated materials are sometimes a godsend and the price is always right for volunteer labor, these truths give cold comfort when your campus hosts an important tournament and visitors have to break out their phone flashlights to cross pitch-dark parking lots on their way to sports fields with mismatched, blinking lights.
Or, to put it another way, generous parents and local patrons are wonderful for that annual capital campaign, but what about the monthly electric bill? It keeps on rising along with the cost to repair legacy fluorescent fixtures that were donated years ago when someone else made the smart decision to upgrade to LED.
There will always be a need for volunteers and giving spirits, but private schools have a growing business to run. With rising enrollments comes a growing responsibility to manage facility infrastructure wisely.
When the time comes to get serious about strategic facility upgrades, where can private schools turn for help?
FSG – The Private School’s Best Friend
For over 40 years, in markets all across the country, FSG has sold products and services that support the construction and operation of commercial facilities, including private schools.
FSG breaks its business into two key areas; the construction of new buildings and the upgrade and maintenance of existing buildings.
FSG’s Facility Services team is focused on the sale and support of products and services for existing facilities. This team offers lighting products, lighting retrofits, electrical services, Smart Buildings & IoT, signage solutions, and more.
A particular focus of FSG’s Facility Services team involves finding every available rebate and program incentive available to support private schools as they embark on a new facility upgrade project. Additionally, FSG’s Power of Light program offers a variety of creative financing options that help private schools by reducing total investment and overall project risk.
FSG Construction supports private schools from initial design and engineering to the final punch list, taking on a wide range of projects for general contractors and construction managers.
FSG Construction offers full construction services in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, New York City, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and along the Texas Gulf Coast. Limited construction services are offered in other markets.
Together, FSG’s Facility Services and Construction teams deliver a completely turnkey experience for facility managers facing everything from new construction projects to facility upgrades of all sizes.
Most importantly, FSG delivers a reliable, fast, responsive, and top-quality service experience for our private school customers. Our professional approach has been the basis of our success, with a privately-owned business model that allows us the freedom to place customer satisfaction above every other business concern.
Schools of All Sizes Trust FSG
We have been talking about what FSG can do for private schools, but our completed projects list includes both public and private schools all across the country. From childcare centers to major universities, FSG supports facility owners responsible for taking care of our nation’s children.
Since 1982, FSG has been a trusted partner for schools of every size, providing lighting and technology solutions for:
- K-12 Classrooms
- University Research Labs
- Student Centers
- Administrative Offices
- School Cafeterias
- Food Preparation Areas
- School Buses and Vans
- Sports Fields
- Parking Lots
- Building Exteriors
- Stadium Lights
- Campus Signage
You can search through our case studies to read about all kinds of schools and all kinds of facility solutions we have provided. Most often, however, schools turn to us for help with their lighting.
In Dallas, FSG worked with Byron Nelson High School over several years to complete two phases of lighting upgrade work at their campus. From exterior wall pack lighting to parking lot lighting to sports complex lighting, FSG transformed the campus into an energy-efficient, safe, and stunningly beautiful facility at night.
For Rutgers University in New Jersey, FSG has been delivering lighting solutions to the historic campus for the past 25 years. As a trusted partner for the university, FSG was responsible for taking the university from incandescent lighting to fluorescent lighting, delivering value not just in energy savings but in performance. In more recent years, FSG again came through for Rutgers as the university transitioned to LED lighting with modern controls.
For the Little Elm ISD in North Texas, FSG leveraged its status as a BuyBoard contractor to help the district upgrade its facilities while taking full advantage of the power of cooperative purchasing. FSG was able to bring a turnkey lighting retrofit project to Little Elm ISD that was specifically tailored to meet their financial goals and long-term sustainability initiatives.
Facility Disinfection Remains an Important Issue for Schools
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic largely behind us, schools have not forgotten the worst days of 2020, when real questions were being raised about the safety of children in schools. Parents, teachers, and administrative employees were justifiably concerned for their own safety as well.
During the worst of the pandemic, FSG led the way with facility disinfection solutions for all enclosed spaces, but especially for our nation’s schools.
The Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) technology we offered schools has remained a popular option for campuses interested in better indoor air quality (IAQ) every day of the year.
Another popular option for schools involves sanitation with UVC spectrum lighting, a proven solution to kill viruses and deliver superior IAQ.
At FSG, we understand the challenges faced by schools tasked with keeping their students and teachers safe. Our team can deliver quick and effective solutions that ensure your campus facilities offer the safest environment during cold and flu season, as well as during totally unexpected seasons.
EV Cars are Here Now. Is Your Campus Ready?
One of the most active areas of our business these days involves building out the national network of EV charging stations. From coast to coast, FSG is engaged every day in the business of helping commercial facilities provide or expand EV charging infrastructure.
For schools looking to provide EV charging stations at their campuses, the process is the safe as it is with any other business looking to provide the service.
Our step-by-step process for delivering EV charging solutions involves:
- Conduct a Site Audit – determine your existing electrical infrastructure and confirm the scope of your project
- Select Equipment – explain available equipment options with the highest ratings from customers
- Identify Rebates & Incentives – work with you to make sure your project takes full and complete advantage of all available savings opportunities
- Create Installation Plan – taking into account your special requirements related to normal facility operations, we work with you to develop a plan to quickly and efficiently install EV charging infrastructure at your campus
- Execute Project – our trained and experienced technicians will arrive at your location with everything they need to complete your project.
Cooperative Purchasing Makes the Difference for Private Schools
When thinking about a school facility upgrade project, school administrators should always remember the power of cooperative purchasing. For FSG, this is an important part of the value we bring to public and private school administrators.
At FSG, we’re very proud to be affiliated with a number of national and state-level Co-Ops. Through our Co-Op affiliations, we are able to match our LED lighting and facility disinfection products, as well as our turnkey electrical service offerings, with member organizations that have made the decision to begin important facility upgrade projects.
Through organizations like the BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative and the Association of Educational Purchasing Agents (AEPA), FSG has been able to provide excellent products and services to Co-Op members across the country.
Because of our placement on vendor lists included in the state of Texas Multiple Award Schedule (TXMAS) and the US government’s General Services Administration Multiple Awards Schedule (GSA MAS), FSG has been able to complete many important state and national projects that support the quality of life for all of us.
If you’re an AEPA member, or if your Co-Op makes use of BuyBoard National Purchasing, keep us in mind when you’re ready to address your next facility challenge. No matter how you hear about us, however, we understand that each new project represents an opportunity for us to deliver top-shelf products and services.
That’s what we do, every day.
Upgrade Your Campus with FSG Today
From ground-up electrical construction to retrofit work that saves energy and money for your school, FSG is ready to answer any question you may have about how to get your job done to the highest professional standards.
Remember, volunteers and donations have their place, but professional lighting and electrical work includes budgets, lighting design, product specifications, quotes, rebates, timelines, warranties, and service throughout the life cycle of your facility.
The value we deliver to private schools with growing enrollment and aging campus infrastructure can be seen and felt throughout the project. We follow through on our commitments with every customer, and your project – no matter how large or small – will receive our complete and undivided attention.
When the time comes to seriously address your campus facility needs, visit our website to learn about how our solutions and services can work for your school. Let us help you with any or every aspect of your upcoming lighting or electrical project.
Give us a call at (877) 293-6689 and make the decision to do it once and do it right with FSG.