Scouts Queensland has a 'duty of care' and is responsible for ensuring that buildings are fit-for-purpose and maintained in accordance with all relevant regulations, and community standards.
Under QBSI 5.3.1
Scout Groups, Districts, Regions and other Formations have the stewardship of the various improvements (buildings, sheds, roads, parking areas, swimming pools etc.) and for the land itself (subject to restrictions included in relevant lease documents). Stewardship involves a significant commitment and includes ensuring adequate insurance coverage, carrying out repairs, preventative maintenance, payment of fees and charges, regulatory compliance, refurbishment and improvement of the site.
Formations are encouraged to develop and implement a comprehensive site maintenance plan, this will:
- Ensure that regulatory obligations are being met
- Ensure efficient use of resources, including minimising waste
- Proactively manage ongoing operational costs
- Prevent undue deterioration, preserve, and prolong the life of the asset
- Ensure appropriate image and appearance of Scout Facilities
- This practical guide outlines the key considerations for developing a site maintenance plan.
The following items must be completed as part of mandatory requirements:
- Prescribed fire safety installations
- Specified electrical equipment and safety switches, including RCDs
- Testable Backflow Prevention Devices
- Lift maintenance
- Swimming Pool Certification
- Activity Infrastructure, such as abseiling towers and climbing walls
- Review of Asbestos Management Plans (at least once every five years)
- Septic and waste water treatment system inspections, in some cases testing
- Furnishings are fit for purpose
Please note that in all cases mandatory maintenance must be completed by an appropriately licensed and certified contractor.
Routine and Preventative Maintenance
The following items should be included as part of general maintenance
- General cleanliness and housekeeping
- Grounds Maintenance
- Steps, risers and balustrade, check for loose components, signs of corrosion in steel or rot in timber elements
- Pest inspection and treatment, note that this often a mandatory requirement under leasing conditions
- Gutter and roof cleaning
- Plumbing, service of flushing mechanisms, tap washers/ seats and O rings
- Lights, for function and cleanliness
- Door hardware, including servicing of roller doors and shutters
- Furnishings, check general condition, tighten loose parts and ensure feet have caps on them
- Hot water cylinder, pressure relief valve
- Identification and removal of trip hazards
- Tree Trimming
- Strip and Seal Timber and Vinyl floors
- Window locking mechanism are working correctly
- Flag poles are secure, not showing signs of rust or fatigue
Project Maintenance / Improvements
The following items should be included as part of a maintenance project:
- Rectification of building defects
- Painting (note that a quality coat of paint should last around ten years, can protect, and prolong the life of a structure, as well as improve the image and appearance of a site. Painting should form part of any long-term maintenance plan)
- Resurfacing timber floors
- Removal of asbestos
- External lighting of entry / exit path ways
- Electrical switch board upgrades to current standards
We would encourage Formations to ensure a base level of cleanliness and maintenance before they look at improvements to their facilities. Common building improvements include:
- Facility Upgrade to allow greater mobility, access and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliance
- Solar Upgrades
- Improved storage, note that Formations should rationalize their equipment and clean up any existing storage areas before building new storage areas
- Kitchen upgrades
- Signage and Branding
- Air Conditioning (note that most of our buildings would not be suitable for air conditioning due to high ceiling heights and a lack of insulation)
The delivery of youth program is the main priority for all Formations. However, they must also ensure adequate resources to meet facility operating costs. Group Support Committees are critical to this work.
Having a fully developed and comprehensive site maintenance plan ensures that key maintenance requirements are budgeted, scheduled, and completed in a prompt manner. Preventive and predictive maintenance is a major contributor towards the lowest overall total costs. Preventive and predictive maintenance also limit unscheduled or emergency repairs.
The costs associated with Mandatory, Routine and Preventative Maintenance should form part of a Formation operational budget. To reduce financial burdens, Formations may seek in-kind support to undertake work, either from local contractors or sufficiently experienced and qualified volunteers. Note that some work must be performed by a licenced contractor such as fire services, plumbing and electrical.
Grants can be a good funding source to deliver building maintenance and improvement projects. Many Municipal Councils will have maintenance specific grant programs, particularly as it relates to their own leased sites. A comprehensive site maintenance plan will help the Formation to prioritize its needs and develop projects in a timely manner ready for when potential grant funding opportunities arise.
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