James Madison University

Case Study

James Madison University

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Improved forecasting and capital spending decisions with comprehensive facility condition reports.

James Madison University









James Madison University (JMU) is a public university located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Founded in 1908 and with over 20,000 students enrolled, JMU is fast becoming one of the nation’s leading lights in higher education because of the unusually engaged relationships that students enjoy with world-class faculty, who are at JMU to pursue knowledge and make teaching their number one priority.


To support its mission of exceling in customer service and providing quality facilities-related support to the university community, JMU’s Facilities Management team wanted to involve the entire campus community in a well-defined, consistently used, and commonly understood process for facilities planning and decision-making. This new process would focus on accountability and tie resource allocation to institutional effectiveness, with the goal of providing a safe, attractive, and service-oriented campus.

  • Lack of an overall snapshot of all university facilities.
  • Incomplete process for decision-making and planning to emphasize accountability.
  • Need to comply with Commonwealth of Virginia facility condition mandate.


JMU implemented the Accruent VFA solution to meet the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Facilities Inventory Condition Assessment System (FICAS) requirements and to be eligible to obtain funding from the Commonwealth, as well as to streamline data collection with a template-driven survey process. Using VFA, JMU’s in-house inspectors no longer had to collect facility condition data manually and return to the office to import the data, and they can extract and dissect data across an entire portfolio, for particular buildings, and even for specific systems or types of problems.

  • A reliable, centralized database with real-time information for quickly addressing questions.
  • Ability to divide facility condition surveys and assign them to multiple inspectors.
  • Tools for creating sophisticated budget scenarios and reports that feed strategic analysis.
JMU Students


The deployment of VFA has helped JMU to keep up with a growing facility portfolio, better comply with state mandates, and integrate the facilities capital planning process with the university’s strategic planning efforts. The Facilities Management team have improved forecasting, reduced its time frame for creating budgets, and is able to create comprehensive reports that facilitate buy-in from university leadership as well as building occupants. The increased frequency of assessments ensures that data is kept accurate and enables quicker spending decisions. VFA also made it possible for JMU to maintain or even reduce the Facility Condition Index (FCI) across the portfolio so that the university now has a lower need for remedial or renewal funding relative to its portfolio’s value.

  • Equipped to assess 4 times more square feet in a fiscal year using the same resources.
  • Reduced time spent in the office from 2 weeks to 2 days.
  • Moved from a 5-year to a 3-year cycle of updating facility condition information.
  • Increased visibility into the magnitude of deferred maintenance costs.


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