Ulster County Facility Management & Development Program

The size and complexity of Ulster County operations, including ongoing management and relocation of personnel, office space and resources, mandated the development and application of a decision-making framework and database that would provide comprehensive information on county facilities, their infrastructure, and future needs, as well as how to best meet those needs through various development options. C&S created a facility management and development program that provides a better way to plan for and develop new owned or leased space, as well as maintain existing buildings to extend their useful life and functionality.

The study analyzed Ulster County’s operations in 74 buildings at 38 different sites and comprised 770,000 square feet of floor area. The project involved six steps with the goal of developing specific recommendations for:

  • Department locations
  • Expansion or sale of owned buildings
  • Appropriate performance expectations for leased facilities
  • Expansion, consolidation or termination of leased space
  • Decision models that support an analysis of various new facility development options.

The six steps consisted of an assessment of the current situation, forecasting future space needs, updating facility standards, assessment of county facility management practices, development of methodologies to select between facility ownership and lease strategies, and the compilation of the facility management and development program.

In the initial phase, we assembled pertinent facility information and developed of a baseline assessment. C&S conducted a detailed facility condition assessment of each building using a multi-trade assessment team of architects and engineers that evaluated 66 different systems at each building. The resulting building condition assessment provided the first of a series of planning filters that helped Ulster County manage and prioritize their capital project program. C&S developed a database with reports and query options that use the filters to present building condition information in arrangements that facilitate capital programming.

In the second phase, C&S developed a forecast of future space needs based on interviews with key staff personnel, review of county staff size, historical trends and demographic/economic trends, and current space utilization.

During phase 3, C&S analyzed the standards that impact capital facility investment and planning. In the corresponding technical report, C&S recommended changes to administrative space standards, compiled a set of design standards for Ulster County to consider for adoption, presented a life cycle modeling tool for Ulster County to use, and recommended a target facility life cycle to use in capital investment planning.

In the fourth phase, C&S analyzed the standards that impact capital facility investment and planning. In the corresponding technical report, C&S recommended techniques for using current practices to help focus capital investment efforts, enhancing the process of managing capital planning, and developing a cost effective facilities capital budget.

In the fifth phase, CB Richard Ellis examined Ulster County’s facility management and maintenance program and facility ownership strategies. The report included recommended techniques to improve current practices and a benchmark to enable Ulster County to compare their costs to those of an outsourced model. C&S developed a decision matrix that generates the most cost-effective solutions for providing facility space.

In the final phase, C&S compiled all the recommendations and analyses from the previous work areas into a summary report and prepared a presentation to the Ulster County Legislature.