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Articles: Facilities

A biomass plant opened on Middlebury’s campus in 2009, marking a significant step toward the college’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2016.

Fossil fuel and private prison divestment may make the biggest headlines when it comes to how colleges invest endowment funds—but it’s not actually that common a practice. A growing number of colleges and universities now seek bigger impacts—and substantial financial returns—with a strategy known as “ESG.”

With irreversible climate change megatrends conspiring against us and rising levels of consumption, our Nation’s fresh water resources are in peril. For the future the preponderance of scientific, agricultural, and renewable energy discoveries will happen in water born environments.

Future E-shaped student apartment building and courtyard at the University of Indianapolis.

Apartment building at the University of Indianapolis

Up to 480 students will live in this $25 million, four-story apartment building. Located along the city’s increasingly vibrant Shelby Street corridor, the new structure will replace a 1950s-era, 60-unit apartment complex and an adjacent row of aging duplexes that now house 175 students.

Despite the economic and demographic factors that indicate challenging times ahead for higher ed, campuses across the country are busy building, according to a survey of college and university leaders by UB. With student enrollment growth being a big motivational factor for new buildings and renovations, it’s not surprising that academic buildings and residence halls are the top project types.

Facilities such as Davidson Math and Science Center, a recent additions to the University of Nevada, Reno campus, are built to detailed architectural design standards established by university officials.

Being recognized as a “beautiful campus” goes beyond just having curb appeal. In fact, institutions that are consistently chosen for so-called “most beautiful college campuses” rankings put a lot of resources and effort into demonstrating a correlation between campus aesthetics and academic reputation. For many, that commitment is paying off.

The allure of an attractive campus

President Marc Johnson of the University of Nevada, Reno doesn’t hesitate to say the campus itself is the school’s most effective recruiting tool.

Karen Bitar is a partner in the litigation department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Allegations of sex abuse, once hidden from public view at universities, are seeing the light of day at record levels. That attention leads to inevitable questions: How can a school conduct the required investigation when a complaint is made, and deal with victim concerns that schools turn a blind eye to their needs?

The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, also known as DKE, sued Wesleyan University after  its members were told they wouldn’t be allowed to live in their house next school year.

A push for coed fraternities has spawned a lawsuit at Wesleyan University, while a directive from the administration at Trinity College, also in Connecticut, has so far failed to further integrate Greek organizations.

Delta Kappa Epsilon, or DKE, sued Wesleyan in February after the fraternity’s members were informed they would not be able to live in their house in the 2015-16 school year. The fraternity is seeking an injunction against that decision.

Comprising a three-story classroom building and a two-story advising center connected by a walkway, the Academic Village at Morningside College in Iowa is the first new construction on campus since the 1970s. From state-of-the-art simulation spaces for nursing programs to offices that promote first-year student success, this 35,000-square-foot facility serves a variety of purposes for the Morningside community.

While it can be risky for people with physical disabilities to navigate between facilities outdoors, tunnels on campuses such as Wright State U allow for smooth building-to-building movement.

Rumors about the nearly two miles of tunnels that lie beneath Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, often revolve around its location near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Some people have suspected the tunnels were designed as an Air Force/Wright State bomb shelter—or even that top-secret military experiments have been conducted in laboratories there.

A pair of draft horses often plows the campus farm at Sterling College. Sterling does have tractors—its agriculture students have to learn how to use all varieties of equipment—but the energy-saving horses are just one step in the Vermont school’s extensive and award-winning sustainable dining program.

The farm produces about 20 percent of the food consumed in the college’s dining hall.

Let there be light—and trees and plants: The walkway connecting University of Regina’s Riddell Centre, which contains the student union and the main food service hub, and the Education Building, home to four academic programs, is an inviting space with plenty of daylighting.

A brighter alternative to the pedestrian tunnel is a ground-level enclosed pedestrian street. It’s a concept that the University of Regina in Saskatchewan has taken to the extreme.

Nearly 100 percent of the main campus buildings are connected by these walkways, which form a figure-8-like loop.

The future East Parking Complex and Dining Commons at Morehead State University

Parking complex and residence halls at Morehead State University (Ky.):

Four new facilities are on the way for fall 2016 openings. The East Parking Complex and Dining Commons—at a cost of $17.6 million and designed by EOP Architects (Lexington)—will offer about 400 parking spaces as well as a 25,000-square-foot dining area that overlooks the campus’ central residential community.

The other projects are a $28 million residence hall, which will provide suite-style rooms for 550 residents, and a $2.7 million pair of apartment-style buildings with a total of 48 beds.

Dan Darkow, age 21 and graduating this spring from Wright State University in Ohio, is president of the National Residence Hall Honorary and a resident assistant. He serves as director of disability affairs for the WSU student government, and he also happens to get around in a wheelchair due to a form of muscular dystrophy.

Working together, campus buyers and facilities staff can ensure that dollars for equipment needs are wisely spent.

Who would ever think that replacing simple lightbulbs could end up costing a university hundreds of thousands of dollars? Or that a piece of equipment destined for a building’s basement could nearly cause the destruction of an exterior wall, with an associated price tag in the tens of thousands of dollars, because the system was too large to fit through a doorway and too heavy to ride on an elevator?

A new documentary is sparking calls for reform on campuses across the country for humanizing a topic that is too often conveyed in the media as a set of statistics.

The Hunting Ground features interviews with numerous campus sexual assault survivors who tell of their frustration with getting justice from a system that often protects perpetrators.

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