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Articles: Facilities

Since pesky parking to-do’s such as getting a permit or paying a ticket can be done online, there’s no need to find a spot near one of the parking offices at Northern Virginia Community College.

Dan Hofmann has been working for years to make parking about more than just painted lines, structures, and tickets. From city government positions to parking operations management at Harvard University to his current role as director of parking and transportation services at Clemson University (S.C.), he has been a champion for parking efficiencies. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say he makes parking cool.

Panopto's lecture capture platform, like many others, includes captions for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The technological revolution sweeping higher education may not be carrying all students with it equally. MOOCs, lecture capture, and other digital platforms are being designed with varying degrees of accessibility for students with mobility restrictions, hearing and visual impairments, and learning disabilities.

A child is abducted from a local middle school. The abductor flees to a local college campus, where he crashes into another car resulting in the death of two students. He runs into a wooded area with his hostage. A manhunt begins, an employee is shot, and additional people are taken hostage inside an academic building.

These events were all part of a well-scripted drill, not an actual tragedy. Nevertheless, anxiety ran high.

An accessible sculpture adjacent to the main entrance of The College of New Jersey's School of Education building references the early American one-room schoolhouse.

A new School of Education building proves it’s possible to maintain the identities of campus departments while also fostering collaboration. The 79,000-square-foot facility at The College of New Jersey contains classrooms, faculty offices, and areas for hands-on science teacher training, science pedagogy research, group dynamics observation, and model classrooms.

What’s one way to please students, engage an entire campus community, and save money all while helping protect the environment?

The answer is greening sports programs, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in its new report, “Collegiate Game Changers.”

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a key part of safety systems.  Image courtesy of Siemens.

New York public and private colleges are now required to give every student written information about fire safety in residence halls and off-campus housing. Known as the Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act, it was named after one of three victims of the deadly fire that burned through a privately owned housing unit near the campus of Marist College in January 2012.

The future residence hall on Bryant Street at Howard U.

Campus Apartments broke ground on an estimated $107 million housing project at Howard University (D.C.). in March. The 1,360-bed project, slated for August 2014 completion, includes two on-campus facilities that will bring underclassmen closer to the campus core. The residences will offer two-person semisuites, social and study lounges, game rooms, and laundry facilities, as well as independent apartment units for faculty, staff, and guests.

Students at Savannah College of Art and Design have a variety of dining styles and locations to choose from across campus.

Only one-third of 3,400 U.S. college students say they’re satisfied with their meal plans, found a survey by food industry research firm Technomic. But schools are finding that to address the problem, they need to go beyond simply improving what winds up on diners’ plates.

While location is key when it comes to campus dining, students also appreciate delicious, unique food options. Here are some schools that have added meal options that have become a hit with students:  

While the “curb appeal” of well-manicured lawns as well as easy parking are crucial parts of the first impression a campus makes, how welcome visitors feel once inside the first building they encounter on campus is just as important.

To make their campuses more enticing and friendly to those who aren’t used to making their way around there, some institutions have created welcome centers as a first stop for prospective students, family members, alumni, and other guests.

Some 600 sustainability-related classes and a 15 percent reduction in water use over the past several years pushed the University of Connecticut to the top of the Sierra Club’s 2013 list of greenest campuses.

UConn also has cut 2,640 tons of carbon dioxide emissions within the last two years by retrofitting 13 buildings. And a quarter of the food served in its trayless dining halls is processed within 100 miles of campus, with some ingredients grown at the university, according the rankings.

Summer months on college and university campuses are typically filled with a multitude of facilities projects ranging from required maintenance and renovations to new building construction. The period between spring commencement and fall convocation are important months for renewing facilities, as the majority of students, and many faculty, are not on campus and therefore not inconvenienced by construction during these months. But how do colleges sell the benefits of facilities projects and campus expansions during a time when expense reduction measures are negatively impacting personnel?

After the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, emergency response teams at Boston-area colleges had to act fast. Between reaching out to the community and accounting for students and faculty running or attending the race, institutions had much to contend with that day.

Managers from Boston College, Suffolk University, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston shared their experiences during a recent online forum aimed at helping administrators across the country learn about their actions in the wake of the tragedy.

There’s not a tree that grows in the northeast that can’t be found on the campus of Union College in upstate New York, the manager of the institution’s grounds says.

But ladybugs and praying mantises—not insecticides—are the main tools the small college in Schenectady uses to protect a lush arboreal asset that some say helps prospective students pick Union over competing institutions.

As the rest of world gets on with their lives, those of us who call Massachusetts home are reminded daily of why the Bay State has always been Boston Strong. Speaking at a national interfaith service after the Marathon bombings, President Obama remarked, “We may be momentarily knocked off our feet. But we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going.