Do you like puppies and kittens?
We do. So when the Kansas Humane Society (KHS) reached out to Hutton Facility Services for preventive maintenance and capital planning services, we jumped at the chance to help a great cause.
A private nonprofit, KHS houses over 300 animals at any one time and more than 10,000 throughout the year. They’ve maintained a 97% save rate even while short on staff in the current labor shortage.
KHS knew they needed to address maintenance items at their main campus in Wichita, plus start planning capital projects needed to support growth. Hutton built the campus, and KHS approached our Facility Services team to talk planning.
“We knew we needed Hutton’s expertise to help us prioritize so we can keep the facility in good condition and make sure the animals are well cared for,” said Emily Hurst, President/CEO of KHS.
We suggested a facility condition assessment for planned maintenance and a long-range capital plan for future needs.
“Looking at both the assessment piece and future capital project needs creates a full picture of what their facility will cost them over the next 10 years,” said Jeff Hohnbaum, Hutton Facility Services Director. Together with the KHS team, we created a 10-year plan.
First, our Facility Services team evaluated the major building system components and drafted a plan that balanced preventive, predictive, and reactive maintenance.
“You don’t want to overdo the preventive side because you probably won’t get your full value out of it,” explained Hohnbaum, “and you don’t want to replace everything because you’re not getting the value you already paid for. Reactive is costly, disruptive, and doesn’t maintain your investment.”
Hurst put it like this: “If our HVAC goes out and it takes a month to replace, that’s a massive reduction in the number of animals we can save.”
Next, our Facility Services team looked at future capital projects. What capital fundraising projects will they have? How do they prioritize their list of wants? What about funding? We worked alongside KHS to build a facilities capital plan that prioritized both needs and wants over the next 10 years.
“In conversations with Hutton and Jeff in particular, they understood the need for finding solutions with limited resources…they were kind and considerate and steered discussions to find the best solution for us, as opposed to just saying, ‘Here’s your option.’ It was, ‘Well, what do you think about this?’ and ‘How would that meet your needs?’” explained Hurst.
Anticipated cost was also incorporated from the start.
“In addition to our Facility Services team, KHS also gets the Hutton design-build team to offer ideas and solutions to help fit their space needs,” Hohnbaum said. “We can provide pricing for that and work it into the capital plan.”
This helps KHS leaders have informed and specific conversations with donors about how much funding is needed and what it will go toward.
“Over 60% of our funding comes from local charitable donations—being able to prioritize needs and balance the urgency is critical,” said Hurst. “An important part of donor funding is being a good steward of donor funds. That means looking for more permanent solutions, not band-aids.”
Sustainable solutions like a gradual changeover to LED lighting are part of the plan, with training support from Hutton to retrofit as lights go out instead of a costly blanket changeover.
Another concern: the dog play yards have artificial turf, which gets hot for dog paws in the Kansas sun, and shades are pricey. A solution we offered was solar panels that would provide shade and also provide energy.
When it was time to present to the KHS board of directors, Hohnbaum walked through the plan, explaining technical aspects and answering questions.
“Having Jeff present was a huge benefit to us because our expertise is animals and animal care,” said Hurst. “It made us feel more confident in understanding how we have to prioritize, what we have to do, and why these things are so important. This is a direct impact, not just on saving one life, but for us to be able to continue saving thousands of lives every year.”
The plan was approved.
“We know Hutton compassionately cares about us and the community,” added Hurst. “It’s been wonderful to be able to work with them and rely on their expertise. Having support from a trusted resource, knowing what we can do and how much it’ll cost is critically important so we can line up the financial resources to maintain our level of work.”
If maintenance isn’t your intended day job and you need a plan for current and future needs, our Facility Services team can help. Contact Jeff Hohnbaum below to learn more, and check out our Facility Services page.