The Insular ABCs Initiative encompassed a multi-year effort by the Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) to improve the quality of public schools in the four US territories: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, and the US Virgin Islands (USVI). The third phase of this initiative executed a two-pronged strategy to reduce deferred maintenance (DM) at public schools in the four areas and build organizational sustainability of the facility management offices for the school districts. The Final Comprehensive Report of the multi-year effort is available at the hyperlink to the right.
Year 4 and 5 of Phase 3 encompassed several efforts including continued DM reduction projects, the creation of Preventive Maintenance Plans, Condition Assessment updates, the creation of Facility Master Plans, and transfer of Enterprise Asset Management System (EAMS) management to the school districts. A summary of Year 4 progress is available in the hyperlink to the right.
Preventive Maintenance Plans:
Preventive maintenance plans documented critical actions to be undertaken to ensure that ASDOE, GDOE, and VIDE facilities, infrastructure, and equipment remain viable and that investments are maximized. Hyperlinks to the respective reports are available in the hyperlinks to the right. The plans are comprised of three core components:
1. Job Plans: key PM tasks and execution steps for maintenance staff or contracted work.
2. Work plans: task locations and frequencies, estimated resource requirements, and logistical considerations.
3. Organization and Management Structure Change Recommendations: a review of existing management and staff positions, and recommended adjustments to best support proactive facility management.
Condition Assessment updates:
Condition assessments were conducted for ASDOE and GDOE to update information gathered in 2013. Conditions of eight “work activities” were assessed in this update including: Roofing, Exterior, Interiors, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and school grounds (Site). The assessment summary reports (see hyperlinks to the right) identify where major DM investments are needed and rough order of magnitude costs to resolve DM items. DM work orders for about 3,000 facility components at ASDOE schools were updated, identifying about $5.4M in remaining DM ($0.2M in high priority DM). About 11,000 DM work orders were updated for GDOE, identifying about $120M in DM ($70M in high priority DM).
Facility Master Plans
School Facility Master Plans (FMP) were created in cooperation with the American Samoa and Guam Departments of Education to establish goals and facility standard guidelines, from which school adequacy can be assessed, and to define the improvements that are needed to meet the territories’ education program goals. The FMPs provide a prioritized implementation plan for improvements across the school facility inventories, serve as support for funding requests, and provide a road map to ensure that investments support current and future teaching and learning modalities.
EAMS Transfer to School District Management
Training was conducted in a sequence of iterative, module-based sessions for the primary EAMS database and interface, as well as the web-viewer that graphically depicts school facility data and scenario tool for modelling funding scenario consequences. Three user guides that were provided to school district EAMS users:
[EAMS reports are not available online to protect sensitive information]
Year 3 efforts included ongoing execution of deferred maintenance (DM) reduction projects (the second full year of the planned four-year repair work period), capacity building efforts undertaken through the Training and Sustainability Program (TSP), and EAMS support, buildout, and preparation for rollout.
Work Plan Execution/Projects:
Approximately fifty DM awards were made for a total of about $1.2M in design and construction contracts, with $5M of DM projects in the procurement pipeline. A number of planned and underway DM projects in USVI and the CNMI were cancelled because of hurricanes. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance reviews continued, as well as work plan updates to keep DM projects focused on critical health and safety repair priorities.
Training and Sustainability Program:
The Year 3 TSP efforts included the following deliverable to help streamline and build resilience into facility management efforts:
EAMS Support, Buildout, and Preparation for Rollout:
Year 3 EAMS efforts included buildout to enable work order, job plan, and asset template functions and facilitate system rollout to host agencies with three primary objectives:
Year Two of Phase 3 is the first full year of an anticipated four-year project. Accomplishing the overarching objectives for Phase 3 (reducing backlog of critical health and safety repair projects and increasing local school facility management capacity) requires:
Training and Sustainability Program (TSP)
Phase 3 efforts began with data updates and prioritization to create work plans for each territory that defined work sequencing. Year 1 of Phase 3 also included strategies for implementing the energy audit and IEQ recommendations, production of an IEQ Handbook, and development and delivery of school facility planning workshops. An enterprise assessment management (EAM) system was stood up to manage work orders in the years 2-5 work period, as well as to assist facility maintenance and planning tasks. Program Managers (PMs) were hired in each territory to oversee the planned work and assist with facility management practices. Agreements were established with territory and host agency leadership to define objectives and roles, and guide the overall DMRP.
Phase 2 provided a first‐ever baseline inventory and condition assessment of the 115 insular K-12 public schools. As a result of this phase, $177 million in deferred maintenance costs were identified, which included energy conservation measures to reduce overall utility costs and increase energy security, and measures to improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ) conditions to boost student performance. The following website compiles assessment data to report deficiencies by building system, insular area, schools and buildings. The homepage provides system-level data summaries for all territories and schools.
The US Department of Interior (DOI) included a goal in its five-year plan to Improve Quality of Life in the Insular Areas, with a focus on improving education. The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), an agency of DOI, initiated efforts to work toward this goal through funding Phase 1 of what would become the Insular ABCs Initiative.
The Phase 1 report provided a starting point for OIA to work with territorial Governors on a multi-year effort to improve the quality of education with a focus on school facilities (subsequent phases are summarized above). The report summarized the institutional context, the basic facilities inventory and common facilities condition problems, alternative approaches to developing metrics, and the recommended approach and budget to implement the program. The report covered more than 125 school campuses and nearly 1,600 separate buildings. Appendices for the Phase 1 Report include:
Year 1 Online Documents:
If you would like to contribute and be a part of the effort to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog within the public school systems in the Insular Areas, please contact HHF Planners.