At schools across the country, an unusual sound can be heard early each morning this time of year: silence. With no buses dropping off kids and no locker doors slamming before the first class of the day, the cafeterias, gymnasiums, auditoriums, hallways, and classrooms at schools are eerily quiet.
It almost feels like the building is taking a moment for itself, after a full year of non-stop activity. That peace and quiet won’t last long, however. The end of the school year really only signals the beginning of the summer maintenance, repair, and refit season for facility managers at our nation’s school campuses.
School administrators can be forgiven for taking a moment to catch their breath, but the rest is short and the clock is ticking for summer projects at their campus facilities. Fresh paint, new carpet, and furniture and equipment upgrades are just a few of the things districts work on to get ready for the kids when summer ends and the buses start running again.
Other projects might only take place every few years, like providing lighting upgrades, updating security systems, or expanding network capabilities. But when they happen, they usually take place within empty buildings. Projects like these are much more efficient and safe when school is out for the summer.
While most summer projects have been planned months in advance, sometimes other opportunities or circumstances present themselves for campus upgrades that may not have originally been in the “plan”. Let’s take a look at three campus projects you might not have considered as the school year was winding down.
1. Focus on Hard-to-Reach Lighting
Whole campus or multi-campus lighting upgrade projects are one of the fastest ways to reduce energy consumption and improve the look of the campus. At this point, everyone understands the economic value as well as the educational value of LED lighting upgrades for school facilities.
However, these projects take lots of time and budget to execute and if they are not a part of your school’s summer spruce-up plans, it is not likely your district will be interested in initiating an LED lighting retrofit project this late in the game.
This summer, if a full lighting upgrade project is not in the plan for your school facilities, think instead about what work is part of the plan and if any specific lighting could be updated while those other projects are being done.
For example, maybe your district is replacing ceiling tiles in a cafeteria, auditorium, or other high ceiling areas. If so, why not consider doing some LED lamp upgrades at the same time while the lifts and manpower are already there?
Or, maybe the high school swimming pool needs to the drained. Why not replace the lighting in the pool with LEDs while the water is gone?
Thinking about the work that is already on the schedule for the summer reveals lots of opportunities to save money by taking advantage of existing crews and lift equipment that let you access hard-to-reach light fixtures. In the end, combining small lighting upgrades with other bigger projects can save your school districts lots of money.
2. Get Construction Grade Lighting Audits
The summer break is a perfect time to do construction-grade lighting audits to help formulate plans for future lighting upgrade projects. The information gathered from a full construction-grade lighting audit is exactly what school administrators need to make their case during budget meetings, so gathering the information this summer means the budgeting and planning processes will be streamlined.
Empty hallways and classrooms give facility managers and lighting auditors the space and time required to conduct a thorough audit and arrive at a solid plan for future lighting upgrade work at your campus.
3. Calibrate and Level Set Building Controls
Summer breaks provide a perfect time for technicians to come in and calibrate existing building controls. HVAC systems and lighting controls need to be checked and verified, and summer is the best time to get this work done.
These projects are perfect for the summer break because turning lights on and off and HVAC system testing won’t disrupt teachers and students.
Additionally, the hottest months of the year can put all campus systems to the test and help you verify that your campus is ready for the upcoming school year.
4. Futureproof Your Parking Lot by Installing EV Charging Stations
With major automobile manufacturers pledging to focus more and more on electric vehicles (EVs), the time to prepare for the EV future is now. In the time it takes this year’s entering freshman class to graduate, EVs will no longer be seen as cars only driven by early adopters. They will be a common feature on the roads where you live and, importantly, in your school’s parking lot.
If your school district is ready to move forward with EV charging stations for your faculty, staff, and even your student drivers, summer is the best time to upgrade your parking lots. Talk to FSG about all the fantastic rebates and incentives that are available in your area.
Our turnkey EV charging solutions make quick and easy work of projects that will help your school district take a leading role in embracing future transportation technology. Best of all, upgrading your facilities to include EV charging infrastructure during the summer break means there will be no interruptions to your busy parking lot operations.
Let FSG Fine Tune Your Campus this Summer
Hey, we get it. School is out and everybody should take a moment to feel good about that. But don’t let the summer get away from you! Act now to make sure this summer includes some proactive facility maintenance at your school.
Take advantage of empty hallways and cafeterias and get the crews and equipment you need to attend to hard-to-reach places. Think about combining some simple, low-cost projects with bigger projects to get more done over the summer break.
And if a full-scale lighting upgrade project is in your school’s future, consider a commercial-grade lighting audit from a certified lighting professional this summer to get that ball rolling.
FSG can help with all of these types of projects and more! FSG is the AEPA contract holder for LED lighting products and electrical services for educational facilities. Visit the FSG and AEPA page to see how we are able to provide access to products from major manufacturers and provide turnkey services, all at competitive pricing for members of the AEPA Co-op.
FSG is also partnered with the BuyBoard purchasing co-op. The BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative is an online purchasing cooperative formed between the National School Boards Association and several state school board associations to streamline the buying process for schools, municipalities, and other public entities.
Let FSG be your school’s partner in all the facility projects you want to see completed before the kids return to class at the end of the summer. Call us today at (877) 293-6689 or visit our website to find out about lighting audits, individual lighting products, or building control systems.
For school facility managers tasked with maintaining campus buildings not just over the summer but all year long, don’t forget to visit our online store for excellent pricing and reliable delivery of the products you need at your school.