With Ohio State facing an estimated $1 billion backlog of maintenance needs, the Board of Trustees considered solutions presented by committee members Wednesday.

The first priority is to make sure maintenance doesn’t get worse, said Jeff Kaplan, senior vice president of Administration and Planning.

Planned maintenance refers to repairs that the university schedule as soon as problems arise, Kaplan said. It’s maintenance the university does now and does not delay. Deferred maintenance refers to repairs that are pushed into a backlog by the university, without a specified completion date.

“We really do have to come up with ways of generating money,” Kaplan said. “Part of [a contractor’s review of the university] indicated that it’s much more important to maintain space versus building space. We probably don’t need any net new physical space unless it’s for a building that needs to be demolished.”

Kaplan recommended increasing maintenance funding by 15 cents per square foot every year over a five-year period, beginning in 2011.

“This will slowly begin to address the problem and make sure our deferred maintenance doesn’t get any worse,” Kaplan said.

A contractor hired by the university is reviewing deferred maintenance at OSU and will eventually present their findings, Kaplan said at a board meeting in February.

“At that time, we can make an estimate as to what we can do about deferred maintenance, and I think by February we will have more of a handle on it,” he said.