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Articles: Campus Construction

Touch screens are taking over—and people expect to see them. In the years since Apple first popularized the technology with the iPhone in 2007, it has become almost rare to meet someone who doesn’t own a touchscreen smartphone or tablet. This is becoming even truer among the college-bound and younger generation. Take, for example, the viral YouTube video showing a toddler who could easily operate an iPad, but seemed perplexed when she touched the pages of a magazine and nothing happened.

What single key thing must campus administrators keep in mind when considering audio options?

“The one thing that needs to be understood for an audio solution across a campus is how to implement a simple solution for all environments that will need audio. The different classroom settings make it very difficult for an administrator to come up with a one-size-fits all type of solution.” —Tim Root, CTO and executive VP of new business development, Revolabs

Imagine a learning environment where students can’t hear the professor—or the emergency notifications as part of a safety situation. The basic need of clear audio solutions in higher education impacts so much more than meets the eye.

Over the course of approximately 200 conversations and interviews for our book, The Sustainable University: Green Goals and New Challenges for Higher Education Leaders (Johns Hopkins, 2012), it became apparent that while many believe the period for orientations to sustainability has passed and the movement has transitioned from one of general citizen awareness to the need for tangible solutions, many

The future Science and Engineering Building 2 at UC Merced

A three-story, 103,000-square-foot laboratory and research building project got under way this spring at the University of California, Merced. Called the Science and Engineering Building 2 and designed by Smith Group JJR, it will complete the academic core around the campus quad. General contractor McCarthy Building Companies is managing the $88 million project, as well as the $10 million Recreation Center North project, a 19,000-square-foot facility designed by WRNS Studio, which recently had its final structural beam put in place.

It’s no trade secret that there is a growing trend of colleges using developers to construct student housing. A number of universities, particularly public institutions, are finding it advantageous to work with large real estate developers.

However, based on my years of experience, the advantages of working with private developers go well beyond public universities and construction of student housing.

With more BSN graduates than any other private college in Wisconsin, Viterbo University’s nursing school enjoyed an excellent reputation—but it operated out of a small, outdated facility. The new School of Nursing, which opened this past fall, is twice the size and technology-rich. The goal, explains President Richard Artman, is 25 percent growth over the next five years and accreditation for a doctor of nursing practice program, currently in development.

The future Student Union and UW/CC Center at Casper College

A new facility to be shared by the University of Wyoming and Casper College, located at Casper, is part of an effort to increase the university’s presence at community colleges. Each institution is contributing $16 million for the 92,000-square-foot building, to contain offices, classrooms, student services, student activities, food service, a student wellness center, and recreational facilities.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte could well claim kinship with The University of Texas at San Antonio as a large (about 25,000 students), relatively young school on the outskirts of a growing American city, with a mission of putting itself more prominently on the regional map and building school spirit in the process. The school is building a football team of its own—and an on-campus stadium—in preparation for the 2013 season.

Map with a push pin point to Qatar

The trend of opening branch campuses overseas is cyclical. When things are good, institutions look outside their borders. When things get bad, institutions tend to retract those tentacles. However, Education City in Qatar, which opened in 2001 after six years of planning from the Qatar Foundation and now has seven higher ed institutions, is going strong.

In November, Northwestern University in Qatar broke ground on a new 32,520-square meter building to house its media, communication, and journalism school. Northwestern University (Ill.) founded its Qatar branch in 2008.

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.

Georgia Gwinnett College's student center was completed in time for the opening of its first residential housing.

Efficiency fix

In one fell, $300 million swoop, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, nearly doubled its housing capacity in the fall of 2008. The nine-building Poly Canyon Village houses 2,600 students in apartment-style living and includes a retail core. What was good for campus life, though, raised considerable challenges for those charged with operating and maintaining it.

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

The word “class” really doesn’t do justice to what medical students attend in the newly renovated lecture theatre at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

“It’s a production, which is so much better,” said Ed Hipditch, manager of classroom technologies with Memorial University’s Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support (DELTS) department. “Students walk in and say ‘Wow!’ ­The wow factor is important when educating someone. It’s not just someone scribbling on a chalkboard.” ­

Most colleges and universities attending EduComm send one or two, sometimes three, people to the conference. Last June, Life University (Ga.) sent seven of its administrators and faculty to learn from the breakout sessions and see the latest higher education technology on the EduComm exhibit floor.

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