Advertisement

Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Deferred maintenance backlog at universities has decreased

December 25, 2012

Advertisement

— A growing problem at public universities in Kansas, seems to have started to improve, officials say.

The problem has been how to pay for deferred maintenance — the long list of needed repairs and replacements to the hundreds of buildings and infrastructure on college campuses.

The 1960s and 1980s saw huge growth in higher education. Nearly 40 percent of regents’ university buildings were built during those periods, and now those buildings are requiring major repairs.

In 2007, the Kansas Legislature put together a funding package to try to deal with the problem. But even then many said the measure was too little too late.

They appeared right. From 2008 to 2011, the estimate of the deferred maintenance backlog grew to $904 million from $825 million.

This year, however, the deferred maintenance backlog is coming in at about $800 million, said Eric King, director of facilities for the Kansas Board of Regents.

"We have seen a significant decrease in our backlog," said King. "What I think it is we are seeing is the money pumped into this has really made a difference."

He also said the struggling economy produced low bids on projects over the past several years as contractors scrambled for work. And another factor was the state's use of approximately $46 million in federal stimulus funds for deferred maintenance.

In addition, since 2007, the regents have required that new construction on campuses include funding to cover the cost of expected maintenance over the life of the building.

"It's a really positive story," said Regents Vice Chairman Fred Logan of Leawood.

Comments

SouthWestKs 1 year, 11 months ago

There should be NO "deferred maintenance", ever/anytime. If there is the person who is responsible should get a PINK slip. Goes to show you that the people in charge, the Regents need to be fired.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 11 months ago

You can't do maintenance if you don't have the funds, and the Kansas Legislature the the Governor are in charge of that. Given that funding for maintenance is all but guaranteed to decrease dramatically over the next few years, are you saying we should fire them?

LogicMan 1 year, 11 months ago

Deferred maintenance is recognized-need maintenance, but it's not done for some reason. Incompetence is only one reason. In well run organizations it is usually due to a lack of funds, skilled personel, lack of parts available, etc.

I'd guess (pure speculation) that the mentioned list is getting shorter, but the need is actually greater. With the weak state budgets in recent years they are likely not out looking for more and more problems, or people just don't complain for a variety of reasons (fiscally numb, keeping their heads down out of fear, too busy and so on).

Left_of_Lawrence 1 year, 11 months ago

The funding for KU is estimated to DECREASE by 8% for next year which almost certainly will lead to more deferred maintenance. Thank you state legislature and Mr. Brownback.

SouthWestKs 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't give me that Hog Wash. If you get money to run the college, you better do the maintenance first!! You then can use what is left over for the rest of the expenses.

Centerville 1 year, 11 months ago

They were busted last time around for doing a Pity Us Tour and showing legislators the very same disrepair that they had shown to get more $$$ two years before that. Where that money went is anyone's guess.

Thomas Bryce 1 year, 11 months ago

Never enough money to fix the buildings. Never enough money to give your workers a raise.Never enough money for pensions and benefits.Always enough money for Sports. Always enough money for a few $250,000 a year Associate Vice this or Assistant Vice That. Always enough money to spend several million for a Group to tell YOU what is wrong with The University that You supposedly Know how to run. We Get it. The Regents and KU are not fooling any one but themselves.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.