APWA Reporter Magazine, April 2019
By Stephanie DeFreitas, Management Analyst Department of General Service – Planning, Construction, and Facilities Division, City of Alexandria, Virginia
Located directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the City of Alexandria has a rich, deep history going back to the mid-1700s. From Gadsby’s Tavern, frequented by George Washington, to he planned Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, Alexandria has been a vital part of the nation’s past and is helping to shape the future.
While unique in some respects, when it comes to facility capital maintenance, Alexandria's story is not all that different from other municipalities. Minimal Investment, going back decades, has led many City-owned facilities to fall into a state of disrepair with what seems like an insurmountable list of deferred capital replacements. In an age where data is required to make most major decisions, how do you gather and use data to justify additional capital investments in facilities to the decision makers when you have minimal data to start with? This is what the staff in the Department of General Services asked themselves and what drove a change in culture and mindset concerning capital maintenance for the City of Alexandria.