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IBM Helps Cities Nationwide Make The Grade For K-12 School Districts

ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new projects with three of the nation's largest school districts that are helping to offset budget cuts by creating more efficient, sustainable and profitable campuses.



The School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) in Florida, Portland Public Schools (PPS) in Oregon and Clark County School District (CCSD) in Nevada are using IBM Smarter Building technology to reduce operating costs, generate new revenue streams and increase returns on invested capital. The software helps each of these school systems make smarter decisions on how their physical assets, such as school buildings and facilities, are used.

With more than 95 percent of schools across the United States experiencing significant budget cuts as high as 20 percent, schools are learning to do more with less resources than ever. 1 To make this easier, IBM technology is creating new opportunities for each of these school districts to more efficiently use existing facilities.

By discovering how efficiently physical assets are being used – and finding new uses for its buildings – schools are able to reallocate resources to instructional purposes, save costs and have the potential to generate new revenue opportunities.

IBM Helps School District of Palm Beach County Increase Revenues  With nearly 178,000 students and 4,500 hundred acres of land, the School District of Palm Beach County is the 11th largest school district in the United States. Facing increased pressure to cut costs and add revenue to offset reduced budgets, SDPBC used campus vacancies during non-school hours to provide nearly 3000 room and building leases annually to commercial and non-profit organizations. Although the program generates additional revenue for the district, the manual leasing and contract processes proved to be time consuming and expensive to maintain.

To better manage this cost and reduce administrative paperwork, SDPBC implemented IBM TRIRIGA across its 187 schools. Since rolling out the solution, the district has increased leasing revenue and it is expected to generate $4.5 million this year by better utilizing its buildings, streamlining the leasing process and modernizing its management capabilities.

"The ability for the School District of Palm Beach County to generate additional revenue is incredibly impactful, since those funds are reinvested toward improving campuses and providing the best education tools to our students, including the highest quality teachers," said Joseph Sanches, Chief of Support Operations for SDPBC. "IBM's smarter buildings solution allows us to manage costs across building equipment and maintenance, maximize our facilities usage, and ensure a fair return on the Palm Beach County taxpayers' investment."

Portland Public Schools Turn to IBM to Help Modernize Campuses  The foundation for creating smarter schools starts with doing more with what already exists. Buildings within Portland Public Schools, the largest district in the Pacific Northwest, are on average nearly 70-years-old. This makes bringing modern technologies into classrooms across the nine million square feet school district to be increasingly challenging. Using IBM TRIRIGA, PPS is able to prioritize modernization efforts throughout their schools, which is a critical element when determining budgets. The smarter buildings software also helps PPS create more intelligent, predictive and efficient maintenance policies and practices.

As a result, PPS can now quickly and accurately identify locations where structural updates are required within classrooms, increase the speed at which schools fix broken lights, pipes and other infrastructure, and predict when general repairs are needed. For example, if a water main breaks in one of the schools, the system automatically alerts the maintenance department about the location and type of problem, enabling a quick response with the appropriate tools for repairs. The increased awareness about repairs across the 81 schools in the district has enabled PPS to reduce facilities management costs by 15 percent while improving speed of modernization by 46 percent. 

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