Russell Garcia, director of higher education
As the summer months wind down, now is an opportune time to reevaluate your educational facility and determine the best ways to modernize your infrastructure. Not only does modernization help your school become more sustainable and efficient, it helps build institutional integrity that can attract and keep students. Budget cuts are an unfortunate reality for many institutions, pushing campus leaders to find innovative ways to modernize – from campus optimization, to the ability to microgrid and different ways to fund new infrastructure.
Even colleges and universities that are spread across multiple campuses can benefit from space optimization. By determining which classrooms or common rooms are used and when for educational purposes, and strategically using the unused or underutilized rooms, institutions can make the most out of the space they already have and cut down on energy consumption.
Another way institutions can become more energy efficient is to become a microgrid, allowing them to take better control of their power usage on campus. Using energy storage, campuses can generate their own electricity in case of an emergency. Microgrid campuses who are more dependent on themselves receive better pricing with energy utilities.
No college or university is the same, so why should their financing be? Institutions should work with a partner who can help build a custom financing solution to fund new infrastructure – from P3, to alternative financing agreements and grant services – based on each projects’ unique characteristics. Leaning on a partner allows campus leaders to focus more on fulfilling its mission of education and research, instead of worrying about making financial decisions.
I look forward to my time at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Annual Meeting each year, and this year I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by university leaders sharing their best practices to move institutions forward. During the show, Johnson Controls and University Business magazine hosted a customer breakfast with some of the most impressive leaders from campuses across the country, including Samford University, University of California, Merced, University of Hawaii Community College and Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Talk to an expert and learn more about innovative ways to modernize.