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Articles: Campus Construction

Center for Communications and Creative Media (CCM)

Champlain College (Vt.)

Planned occupancy: August 2015

Design: ColinLindberg Architects (Burlington, Vt.)

Wrapped in bowed glass, the building’s first three floors give passersby a full view of events and activity going on inside.

People walking past 160 Massachusetts Ave. in Boston are likely to both see and hear beautiful music being made. That’s the point of this 14,000-square-foot addition to Berklee College of Music.

The future Public Safety Institute at Eastern Florida State College.

Public Safety Institute

Eastern Florida State College, Melbourne campus

Planned occupancy: February 2015

Design: BRPH (Melbourne, Fla.)

The $13.2 million, 66,500- square-foot facility—featuring a mock jail cell and mock courtroom—will provide training for law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters and others in public safety roles. School officials are seeking funding for three additional buildings for the campus.

The top trend in college performance spaces today is the flexibility being built into them. From adjustable walls and seating that can accommodate a variety of performance types to acoustics that adapt to handle everything from African drums to an orchestra, theaters are expected to match specific events.

“We see more and more educational users asking for fully flexible ‘black box’ type spaces, where the stage and seating can be rearranged for each production,” says Robert Shook, founding partner at Schuler Shook, a Chicago-based theater planning consultancy.

Construction budgeting software allows Southern Methodist U to maintain a digital record of projects and ensure future projects have adequate funding for site development and other line items.

A Midwestern state university budgeted about $12 million for a major addition to its library several years ago. At the time, there was not a tightly controlled project planning process at the institution and the library’s plaza—already a major central gathering space on campus—was not included in the project budget.

Sidewalks weren't part of the construction project budget for the Hurvis Center at Lawrence U, but that piece was still planned ahead, through a local landscaper.

In some cases, colleges and universities will opt to fund some site development items, such as landscaping, as an operational cost instead of a capital cost.

But the decision depends on owner needs and should still be made in advance, during the budgeting process for the entire project. Here’s how two institutions have approached the decision:

Located in the heart of campus at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, the 40,000-square-foot Dion Family Student Center offers a centralized space, housing a variety of student services. Nearly half the student population can access the center right from their dorms.

CHALLENGE:

Students had used the Alliot Student Center, built to serve less than 900 students, since 1961. Full-time enrollment is now approaching 2,000. Alliot also didn’t provide much beyond a dining hall and bookstore.

Similar to their corporate counterparts, institutions of higher education have to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, which means managing budgets and achieving bottom line results. While there are many factors that contribute to success in this arena, the recent decline in state support for higher education is making it more difficult for colleges and university to grow and thrive. Today’s reality is that reduced funding puts more pressure on colleges and universities as they compete for limited dollars.

The future Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall at West Virginia State University.

West Virginia State University broke ground in October on a 291-bed, $20 million residence hall, the first to be constructed on campus since 1969. The four-story building will sit prominently on the main lawn of campus and provide a “pass through” between the student union and quad.

Repurposing an old campus building may not have the wow factor that comes with creating a new facility from scratch. But colleges and universities driven by financial, environmental and sentimental forces sometimes find rejuvenating the buildings they already have is a more practical solution.

With its amphitheater and café, the atrium area of Bloch Executive Hall is a popular informal meeting area. It was also the scene of a dinner celebration with hundreds of guests.

Sitting adjacent to UMKC’s historic School of Management building, and now complementing it, is the new Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Heading to the campus library used to mean needing serious study silence or a spot for solitary scholarly pursuits. Although the library’s shell may look the same, inside it’s a decidedly different and livelier place.

“The hush-hush is over. Instead you get noise, you get dialogue, you get engagement, you get creativity, you get sharing,” says Jim Draper, vice president and general manager at Gale, the division of Cengage Learning that provides digital and print products to libraries.

Students at Millersville University participate in a ceremonial beam signing.

Millersville University (Pa.) broke ground in September on phase one of a new living-learning community complex. It’s the first step in a commitment to replace all 2,200 beds on campus with suite-style accommodations. Located at one end of the campus’ residential quad, the community will have clusters of 24 to 44 students.

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.

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.

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