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Posted April 28, 2015

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M&O Report Highlights Cost Savings, Other Successes

The division is saving the district money through preventative maintenance and other initiatives.

The Albuquerque Public Schools Maintenance and Operations Division has cut costs by scheduling preventative inspections and maintenance at schools and other buildings, according to its year-end report for the 2014 fiscal year.

The report, which was recently presented to the APS Board of Education, outlines several division initiatives that have helped APS save money.

"Because APS is in the education, not facilities, business, it only makes sense to find cost savings that don't impact the classroom," said John Dufay, executive director of Maintenance and Support Operations. "At the same time, we know that neither teaching nor learning is improved if it takes place in decaying buildings. Research shows that students do better in buildings where there's good air quality, comfortable temperatures, proper lighting, appropriate acoustics and other accommodations."

M&O has taken several steps to cut costs while improving the educational setting. 

Preventative Maintenance
M&O now routinely monitors, troubleshoots and adjusts electrical, mechanical and other control systems to improve performance and efficiency. The preventative maintenance program combined with a work order system called SchoolDude has helped streamline service calls, decreasing the number of work orders by 20 percent. 

Decreased Graffiti and Vandalism
The district also has seen a substantial decrease in graffiti and vandalism – by 58 percent in seven years. That hasn’t happened by accident. Improved exterior lighting, school awareness programs and security measures including cameras, vigilant APS Police patrols, neighborhood watch programs and social media are credited.

Conservation Efforts
According to the report, APS spends $53,697 a day for energy, refuse and water – $19.6 million a year. While utility costs have risen by 30 percent since 2007, the district has managed to keep down its utility costs, coming in under budget in 2014 by $350,000.

Conservation plays a big role in these cost savings efforts. In recent years, APS has:

  • Worked closely with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority in reducing water use districtwide
  • Worked with PNM on energy-savings projects including rebate programs to reduce electric costs and use
  • Changed high energy-use lighting to more efficient LED lights
  • Implemented night and holiday shutdown systems at schools
  • Added more solar panels to construction projects.

Customer Service
The report notes that M&O gets good marks for its customer service. Nearly 90 percent of school administrators participating in a customer satisfaction survey gave the division a positive rating, noting proficiency and professionalism.

"I and everyone else at M&O recognize that our collective role is bigger than each of us individually," Dufay said. "Though our functions are plumbing, painting, electrical wiring, cooling, heating and hundreds of other jobs, our purpose is to support education excellence for the students of APS."

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