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Any institution contemplating building or renovating a facility will inevitably hire an architect. The process of selecting one is often rushed or overlooked, particularly considering its long-term implications. The architectural firm you hire is coming on board to design something important, likely big, and almost certainly expensive. It better be the right one and you better like it a lot because you will be working together for a substantial amount of time. What the firm produces will become a reflection of you and your institution.

It's rare to even hear about a single new campus building these days that wasn't built with sustainability principles in mind. Inevitably, institutional officials are learning not to reinvent the wheel every time a new construction project comes up. Creating a green building policy is one way of ensuring sustainability is a collective goal--a goal that will likely benefit future project design teams.

As high school, college, and NBA basketball seasons power up, we hearken back to one of the best sports movie of all time: Hoosiers. In the film, the small-town Hickory High basketball team is about to do battle with the behemoth South Bend squad for the 1952 Indiana High School State Title. Hickory player Merle Webb famously declares, "Let's win this one for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here."

Over the past few decades, colleges and universities have engaged in a kind of facilities arms race to build new, state-of-the-art dormitories, dining halls, classrooms, athletic complexes, and fine arts centers. Higher ed institutions face enormous competitive pressures to build buildings that rival what's on their peers' campuses. For many, cutting-edge means new.

Future Shock

So, what do the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, the State University of New York at Binghamton and Berkshire Community College have in common? If you are searching for an answer, just consider the role higher learning has played in the transformation of America's river mill cities into contemporary collegetowns.

Young Harris College (Ga.) needed more housing, and fast. This project had to move forward ahead of even a new campus master plan.

FUNCTION: A two hundred-bed residence hall with 50 suites

Student Union Building, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Colleges and universities stand to reap the benefits of tens of billions of dollars in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation will impact everything from student aid and research funding to technology investments and projects planning. Two experts, Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer at University of Texas, Austin, and Lander Medlin, executive vice president of APPA, provide valuable insight about the stimulus package in this edited digest of our web seminar.