Ithaca College Uses Facilities Assessment Data to Build a Master Plan

Ithaca College Uses Facilities Assessment Data to Build a Master Plan

Growing project backlog



High deferred maintenance costs



$40 million in funding secured after Gordian assessment


Background: A Fresh Perspective on an Aging Campus

When a new Chief Facilities Officer began at Ithaca College, he took to reviewing multiple years of facilities data and made note of a number of issues that concerned him. 58% of Ithaca’s space fell into the postwar construction era, which was characterized by poor quality construction. At $95 per gross square foot, Ithaca’s deferred maintenance needs were higher than their peers. Their deferred maintenance backlog had grown to $251 million, up from $167 million a few years prior. Although Ithaca had a favorable age profile, with more than half of its space under 25 years old, projections showed that a shift was occurring: By the next decade, Ithaca’s space profile would be dominated by space more than 25 years old.

Analysis: A Firm Foundation for the Future

At the time, Ithaca College was in the early stages of creating a Master Plan that would become the “framework for the transformation of the South Hill Campus.” To build a data-based foundation for the plan, Ithaca enlisted Gordian to evaluate the physical condition of its facilities. Gordian’s facilities assessment identified $175 million in deferred maintenance projects that would need to be addressed over the next 10 years.

When broken down by year, Gordian found most of the building deficiencies would demand attention within the first three years. By looking at the Net Asset Value (NAV) and the programmatic value of campus buildings, Ithaca was able to divide their deferred maintenance needs into four facilities investment categories: Major Capital Renovations, Stewardship, Transitional and Maintain/Repurpose.

Gordian identified $175 million in deferred maintenance projects on Ithaca College’s campus that would need to be addressed over the next 10 years. What could a thorough facilities assessment uncover on yours?

Result: Transforming Campus with Support from Leadership

These categories directly informed the Master Plan and the strategy for deferred maintenance funding, and both were approved by leadership. Using Gordian’s analysis, Ithaca secured $40 million over a span of five years to directly address existing deferred maintenance projects. Ithaca’s Master Plan continues to outline a clear direction toward future facilities success, and the institution’s leaders are working each year to keep the Master Plan and the Condition Audit data up to date.