New Campus Program Has Potential to Save $4 Million Annually
by Brenda Dawson
A version of this article originally appeared in Dateline on March 23, 2021.
- Campus seeks to reassign space to student-facing programs, academics and research
- Savings seen in capital construction costs and off-campus leases
- Participating units can earn a minimum of $25,000 a year for three years
- Also, campus will send in the SMASH the Stash team to take care of waste and storage
A new incentive program calling for campus departments to consolidate and release office space has the potential to save the university $4 million annually.
Have members of your team realized they are just as effective working from home, with less need for office space? Do you work in an office with filing cabinets full of old documents or in a lab among unused equipment from a retired faculty member? Do you have office space that has been converted almost entirely to storage?
These are some of the scenarios that have prompted the new Space Release Program to identify campus space that can be made available for other groups to use. The idea took hold before the onset of the pandemic and now might be propelled forward even further because many employees are working from home.
“We want to see more of our campus space being actively used for what it was meant to be used for — instead of clutter or storage,” said Kim Turner, director of space management and project development within Design and Construction Management. “In the long haul, if we can free space up across campus, maybe we could save on capital projects and save money on off-campus leasing.”
The program’s goal is to identify 75,000 square feet of workspace that can be reassigned, mostly to student-facing programs, academics and research. The initial, one-time costs of the incentive program are estimated at $2.3 million, with the potential to save campus at least $4 million annually in ongoing costs.