You are here


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.

Many small institutions wrestle with the annual assessment of how to manage routine capital projects. A backlog of deferred maintenance items can further complicate planning.

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.

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.

You have space on campus for a new building, and visions of a cutting-edge learning center dance in your head. The technology-infused building will be so magnetic that admission applications will pour in, professors will clamour for classroom assignments, and local businesses will plead for partnerships.

Of course, funding won’t be an issue because the new technology center will be so innovative and visionary that bonds and grants will stream across your desk like ducks in a pond.

Ready to begin?

The campus student center may once have been the place students passed through on the way to their next class. But these facilities have evolved into bustling destinations that foster campus culture and community.

A 46,000-square-foot abandoned furniture warehouse has been given new life as the continuing education and industrial center at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, N.C.


As with many community colleges, Randolph was in need of expansion due to large enrollment growth. Overflowing parking lots as well as classrooms in the machining program at the school led to an overhaul of the old Klaussner Furniture warehouse, located adjacent to the campus’ Health & Science Center and to Randolph Early College High School.

  • A 20,000-square-foot newsroom with a 360-degree assignment desk as well as television, radio, and vodcast studios will be at the heart of Wallis Annenberg Hall, a five-story, 88,000-square-foot facility for the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. A four-story atrium will feature a multistory digital media tower showcasing student programming, social media, and live broadcast news. The $50 million building was designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux (Los Angeles) and is scheduled for a fall 2014 opening.
After The Village at Muhlenberg College (Pa.) project (shown) was a success with the use of modular, officials turned to the same delivery method for a current project, an addition to a 150-year-old residence hall.

While a new dorm or learning space might be needed or desirable on campus, facing down the associated headaches of time, mess, and expense can overshadow the benefits the finished project might bring.

Modular construction is an alternative delivery method that can tame some of those issues. Unfortunately, the word modular sends people back to the drafty trailers they remember from elementary school.

“Modular can be concrete and steel,” says Jim Snyder, director of operations for Warrior Group Construction. “It doesn’t have to look like an 8th-grade science class.”

The new Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research at Nova Southeastern University (Fla.) is believed by officials to be the largest research facility dedicated to this research area in the nation. So it’s fitting that officials did it up big with the grand opening, featuring President George Hanbury and members of the media taking a ceremonial dive.  The facility is part of NSU’s Oceanographic Center at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park.