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GIS Streamlines Asset Management Across Academic Campus

Deerfield Academy Implements GIS Technology for Asset Management

Above: A walkthrough of the features in a GIS “Digital Map Room.”

Leaders at Deerfield Academy believe in the importance of taking a proactive approach to maintaining and upgrading infrastructure across the 350-acre campus, which has over 130 buildings, including student residences, faculty homes, academic and athletic buildings, and campus maintenance facilities. For close to thirty years, Tighe & Bond has partnered with Deerfield Academy on major building renovations and campus-wide infrastructure improvements. Recent projects include providing environmental, permitting, and engineering services for the design and construction of the field house and ice rink, a seasonal outdoor ice rink, D.S. Chen Health & Wellness Center, and Simmons Dormitory.

As a result, understanding the location and details of campus assets is critical for maintaining existing systems and planning for growth, so the school has relied on experts from Tighe & Bond’s Geographic Information System (GIS) team. Our GIS professionals work closely with their facilities staff, providing innovative GIS web-based applications using industry standard Esri GIS solutions. The GIS enables staff to view campus asset information from office computers and mobile devices.

Deerfield Academy’s GIS is designed as a “Digital Map Room” providing access to over fifty GIS data layers ranging from existing and historic infrastructure and utilities (such as natural gas, steam, water, sewer, stormwater systems), renewable energy resources (solar and electric vehicle charging locations), and environmental resources (wetlands, rare species, hydrology). The data included in the GIS are required elements for successfully maintaining existing infrastructure and planning for on campus growth.

Tighe & Bond GIS professionals utilize Esri’s cloud-based ArcGIS Online platform, allowing Deerfield Academy staff to have a seamless user experience across mobile phone, tablet, and desktop computers. Users have a birds-eye view of the entire campus and can utilize tools within the program to fully interact with the GIS data, providing users with an organized single point of access to campus-wide asset information. The GIS enables staff to edit information as updates on campus assets become available. This level of access permits active participation from all users in the maintenance of the system, promoting a collaborative environment and partnership.

Deerfield Academy’s Campus GIS: Staff at Deerfield Academy utilize their campus GIS system as a tool during campus planning discussions and field work. This GIS facilitates collaborative decision making and assists with planning on campus.

“This recent update of our campus GIS mapping has been a game-changer. The graphics, the user interface, the ability to take it into the field, the ability to attach maps and photos and notes – these are all helping us get buy-in and increase the number of users.  It’s changing the speed of our conversations when we say ‘let me show you something…’” said David Purington, Director of Facilities Operations at Deerfield Academy.

The project successfully demonstrates how the use of this web-based campus GIS streamlines the management of assets and critical resources for institutions to keep pace with master planning goals. The use of GIS to track assets in real-time provides an example for other institutions looking to successfully foster inter-departmental staff collaboration, streamline communication with external design teams, and to assist with making informed decisions regarding campus planning.

Deerfield Academy is an independent secondary school located in western Massachusetts. Founded in 1797, Deerfield Academy is ranked in the top 10 preparatory schools in the country, preparing students to continue their education in college through a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, extensive cocurricular programs, and by encouraging lifelong inquisitiveness and creativity.

Learn more about Tighe & Bond’s GIS services for campus facility management.