Project Advisory 65, December 2020

Operation, Maintenance, and Training

The MSBA is pleased to present on its website a new webpage addressing Operation, Maintenance, and Training. On this page, the MSBA has made available recommendations for how districts entering the MSBA program can prepare for staffing and budget needs associated with the sophisticated building systems in their new or renovated school, as well as training best practices for MSBA school construction projects.

Sophisticated building systems in new schools provide advantages in air quality, environmental efficiency, and acoustics, and generally require a greater level of attention to operation and maintenance than the less advanced systems they replace. Participation by school district personnel in the design, construction, and post-occupancy of new buildings will help districts control and plan for added costs. Recommendations to assist districts prepare for staffing and budget needs associated with the sophisticated building systems can be found on the new webpage.

Moreover, recognizing the importance of facility staff training in the successful turnover to the district of new and renovated school construction projects, MSBA has collected guidelines to help inform districts and their project teams as they assemble their training program. Beginning during the feasibility phase, these guidelines identify roles and responsibilities, and explain the importance of scheduling to provide for an orderly transition from construction to district operations and maintenance.

These guidelines offer suggestions for contract specification content along with suggestions for managing the training program through design development, construction documents, and construction, and also can be found on the new webpage.

The newly presented recommendations are compiled from many sources: the experience of districts who have worked with the MSBA to build schools with successful, sophisticated building systems; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers who design these schools; commissioning consultants retained by the MSBA; consultation with the Massachusetts Facilities Administrators Association (MFAA); government and industry standards; and, guidelines for the operation and maintenance of schools and other buildings. The recommendations are intended to furnish districts with the right questions to ask, and to provide districts context about when in the life of a project to ask these questions; the MSBA does not purport to have the answers to the questions, which will be different for each school district.

These documents can be found on the MSBA website at: