Making an Impact: The largest program wide maintenance project

Free Preventive Maintenance Visit


When students returned to campus in the spring of 2021, SBSM fitness centers were opened for the first time in over a year. Dust, dirt, and spider webs had accumulated on fitness equipment, leaving it vulnerable to damage and unfit for immediate use.

While schools were busy focusing their energy on returning to in-person classroom environments, the SBSM team launched one the largest projects they had ever taken on – a free preventative maintenance (PM) visit for every school. This PM service would ensure that all SBSM equipment was lubricated, calibrated, and ready to use.

“Preventative maintenance is the most important factor in fitness equipment longevity, particularly for cardio equipment like treadmills and cycle bikes,” said Ben Lowe, Southern California Territory Manager for Matrix Fitness. “Similar to an oil change for your car or cleaning your barbecue grill, fitness equipment requires regular PM to ensure safe function and elongated life cycles. Depending on usage, PM should take place either quarterly or biannually by certified technicians.”

Recruitment for this initiative began as the 2020-2021 school year was coming to a close. In order to facilitate visits over the summer, SBSM required the involvement of the school plant manager, a previously unused campus resource. Completing visits during the summer allowed technicians to service the equipment with less interruptions from students and maintain less face-to-face interactions to keep everyone safer.

In total, 124 schools were invited to receive a free preventative maintenance visit and 104 schools signed up. To accomplish this ambitious project, SBSM worked with two different service providers over four months to schedule visits at all interested schools.

These preventative maintenance visits ensured all SBSM fitness equipment was ready to use when students returned to school earlier this fall. In addition, the service technicians were able to provide the SBSM team with inventory lists, photos, and equipment notes for each school fitness center. With this new information, SBSM now has the most comprehensive insight into the state of its fitness centers across more than 100 supported schools.

The SBSM team has already used this information to inform their next programming initiative – Program Enhancement. Schools that were reported with the highest need for maintenance and repairs were exclusively invited to this new support program, which launched in October 2021. Applications for the next cohort will be available in spring 2022.

Additionally with the information gathered, SBSM is able to analyze where the “drop off” in facility upkeep lies - roughly 7 years after installation. This new data will allow SBSM to take a more informed approach when allocating funds and ensure the correct support is dedicated for older school programs.


To learn more about our recent summer PM project, please email our Program Coordinator, Amelia at [email protected]