When retirement arrives, it may be a bigger loss than first thought.

At universities and colleges across the country, baby boomers involved in maintenance and facility management have reached retirement age.

As they leave to relax, travel, and have more time for golfing, they take with them decades of institutional knowledge. Where every underground waterline is. Where they found an unmarked storage drum during construction of that building. Where the cable company almost hit the gas line.

Many higher education institutes are turning to map-based software to reclaim missing utility and underground asset knowledge.

RETTEW uses Collector for ArcGIS, a mobile application integrating maps and a variety of other information. At a Western PA college campus, we’re working to create a database that is easy to use and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

RETTEW’s Subsurface Utility Engineering group is identifying underground utilities running below the campus – whether water, sewer, cable, or gas lines, and also noted larger underground items as well. That information will be placed into the ArcGIS mapping system, integrating the mapping data with relevant information – size, length, and manufacturing information of a pipe, for example.

The campus, in turn, now has a reliable information base for facility maintenance and future development planning. Infrastructure replacement can now be managed and scheduled easily, with all the correct information in one place. Maintenance concerns can be quickly addressed using data right at their fingertips. Procedures can be redesigned and streamlined to keep maintenance and facility operations running smoothly.

With the right tool in hand, large campus operations can manage their infrastructure more easily than ever before!

*photo is of a local college campus in Central PA