flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

UNIVERSITY GIANTS: Facing money woes, the nation's colleges double down on innovative ideas

UNIVERSITY GIANTS: Facing money woes, the nation's colleges double down on innovative ideas

Budget constraints are compelling some public institutions to pursue alternative methods of financing their major building projects. 


By Mike Plotnick, Contributing Editor | August 10, 2016

A dramatic, three-story wood sculpture of North Carolina State University’s wolf mascot highlights the central atrium of the school’s $120 million Talley Student Union in Raleigh, N.C. On the Building Team: Duda Paine Architects (design architect), Cooper Carry (interior architect), Stewart, Inc. (SE), Stanford White (MEP), Kimley-Horn & Associates (CE), and Rodgers Builders/Russell/Dayeco (joint CM). Photo courtesy of Rodgers Builders.

Funding for the nation’s 1,700 or so public two- and four-year colleges remains well below pre-recession levels. Average state spending per student has fallen 17%—about $1,525—since the recession, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

TOP 100 UNIVERSITY ARCHITECTURE FIRMS
Rank, Firm, 2015 Revenue
1. Gensler $79,810,000
2. Perkins+Will $59,960,000
3. CannonDesign $56,800,000
4. EYP $46,539,910
5. Stantec $37,993,785
6. Robert A.M. Stern Architects $24,802,000
7. Clark Nexsen $24,561,000
8. S/L/A/M Collaborative, The $21,833,000
9. CO Architects $21,475,500
10. HDR $21,406,400

SEE FULL LIST

 

TOP 100 UNIVERSITY CONSTRUCTION FIRMS
Rank, Firm, 2015 Revenue
1. Turner Construction Co. $1,124,325,847
2. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., The $772,402,993
3. Skanska USA $535,834,200
4. Messer Construction Co. $521,400,000
5. Barton Malow Co. $470,447,175
6. Gilbane Building Co. $429,741,000
7. McCarthy Holdings $357,875,128
8. Consigli Building Group $343,722,913
9. Clark Group $335,471,145
10. Hensel Phelps $305,040,000

SEE FULL LIST

 

TOP 70 UNIVERSITY ENGINEERING FIRMS
Rank, Firm, 2015 Revenue
1. AECOM $65,000,000
2. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff $37,988,000
3. Jacobs $31,600,000
4. Affiliated Engineers $19,264,000
5. KJWW / TTG $16,943,913
6. Arup $15,856,593
7. Vanderweil Engineers $15,351,800
8. Simpson Gumpertz & Heger $13,586,000
9. Thornton Tomasetti $13,363,234
10. Dewberry $12,904,401

SEE FULL LIST

Money woes will continue to affect capital budgets and operations and maintenance allocations, says Mike Broge, PE, LEED AP, Higher Education Market Leader with Affiliated Engineers. That will only worsen an already significant backlog of deferred maintenance at many institutions, he says. 

Budget constraints are compelling some public institutions to pursue alternative methods of financing their major building projects. 

The University of Kansas leveraged a public-private partnership to initiate a $350 million redevelopment of its central district. The P3 deal includes a 265,000-sf integrated science building, a 40,000-sf student union, a central utility plant, student housing, and infrastructure upgrades. Most of the projects are scheduled for completion in mid-2018.

The University of Kentucky is among the schools that are enlisting developers to oversee their large on-campus projects. Memphis-based EdR is developing 14 new residence halls totaling 2.6 million sf on the Lexington campus. Two buildings are scheduled to open this fall; the others will be completed next summer. 

“This approach keeps costs off universities’ books while still allowing them to stay ahead of the competitive curve with their facilities and on-campus amenities,” says Tim Steigerwald, SVP with Messer Construction. 

Lack of capital has also contributed to a surge in master planning projects. Steigerwald says the University of Wisconsin is developing master plans for at least three large colleges, plus an overall campus infrastructure master plan. The goal: to achieve more efficient use of existing facilities through lower-cost renovations and spatial reconfigurations, thus avoiding costly additions or new facilities.

THE RISE OF INNOVATION SPACES ON Campus

To better equip students to excel in their future work environments, schools are developing a range of innovation spaces that promote hands-on, cross-disciplinary learning, foster unique business and industry partnerships, and encourage entrepreneurship.  

Jeff Stebar, AIA, LEED AP, Higher Education Practice Leader at Perkins+Will, says that a phenomenon he calls “serendipitous cross-pollination” can occur across multiple disciplines working together in the same place. Such a structure models the 21st-century workplace and adds richness to the educational experience. “These spaces are typically owned by everyone, not by any specific college or dean,” he says.

That’s the idea behind the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex at Tufts University, Medford, Mass. Designer Stantec is transforming a 100-year-old warehouse into a new 95,000-sf facility that will house seven departments, ranging from physics and robotics to human development and community health. The teaching/research building incorporates open research labs shared by multiple areas of study, along with public social zones to foster interdepartmental collaboration. The project is part of a new Science and Technology Corridor that will also include a new 80,000-sf Science and Engineering Complex, designed by Payette. It is scheduled to open in 2017.  

At the University of Utah, Lassonde Studios, designed by CannonDesign and Yazdani Studio, fuses a 400-bed residence hall with 20,000 sf of “garage space” where students can build a prototype, attend an event, or launch a business. Opening this fall, the facility has been designed to advance the university’s nationally ranked entrepreneurship program.

College libraries are also adapting to include technology-driven laboratories, informal group study workspaces, and cafés. A new 220,000-sf library under construction on Temple University’s main campus in Philadelphia will replace an existing 1960s-era facility with a dynamic, technology-rich environment. Designed by Snøhetta and Stantec, the $170 million project will accommodate Temple’s 2.5-million volume collection, student study space, research space, and staff areas.

A renewed interest in health careers is fueling demand for new health profession classroom buildings, clinical labs, and health-related research facilities.

“This trend is due in large part to a growing number of students who recognize the career opportunities afforded by a healthcare industry in the midst of a significant workforce shortage,” says Steve Rhoades, PE, LEED AP, Managing Principal, KJWW. 

A 70,000-sf addition to the Columbia University nursing school is currently under construction in Manhattan. Designed by CO Architects and FXFOWLE, the seven-story structure will supplement the school’s existing classroom facilities with healthcare simulation technology, research facilities, and collaboration space. Expected to open in 2017, the building will include mock operating rooms, ICUs, ERs, and exam rooms where students can hone their nursing skills.

Private institutions are also jumping on the healthcare education bandwagon. The University of Pikeville, a private liberal arts college of 2,300 students in the coal country of Kentucky, is building a new 100,000-sf health professions education building that will open next year. Designed by Ayers Saint Gross, the facility will house the Bluegrass State’s first College of Optometry, as well as a nursing facility. The project is part of a strategic plan to upgrade the education needs of the Central Appalachia region and meet the growing demand for optometrists.

 

RETURN TO THE GIANTS 300 LANDING PAGE

Related Stories

Market Data | Jun 30, 2022

Yardi Matrix releases new national rent growth forecast

Rents in most American cities continue to rise slightly each month, but are not duplicating the rapid escalation rates exhibited in 2021.

Headquarters | Jun 30, 2022

Lenovo to build its new global headquarters in Beijing

Washington, D.C.-based architecture and design firm CallisonRTKL has announced it will create the new global headquarters in Beijing for Lenovo Group, a Chinese multinational personal technology company.

Mass Timber | Jun 29, 2022

Mass timber competition: building to net-zero winning proposals

The 2022 Mass Timber Competition: Building to Net-Zero is a design competition to expand the use of mass timber in the United States by demonstrating its versatility across building types and its ability to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment.

Laboratories | Jun 29, 2022

The "collaboratory" brings digital innovation to the classroom

The Collaboratory—a mix of collaboration and laboratory—is a networking center being designed at the University of Denver’s College of Business.

Airports | Jun 29, 2022

BIG and HOK’s winning design for Zurich airport’s new terminal

Two years ago, Zurich Airport, which opened in the 1950s, launched an international design competition to replace the aging Dock A—the airport’s largest dock.

Laboratories | Jun 28, 2022

The California Science Center breaks grounds on its Air and Space Center

The California Science Center—a hands-on science center in Los Angeles—recently broke ground on its Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

Contractors | Jun 27, 2022

Reverse mentorship: A model for the future of the construction workforce

Reverse mentorship can help seasoned professionals develop new skills, stay connected with younger generations, and gain future-forward insights for life and business.

Building Team | Jun 27, 2022

Chapel of St. Ignatius by Steven Holl Architects receives AIA’s twenty-five year award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is honoring the Chapel of St. Ignatius in Seattle, designed by Steven Holl Architects, with its Twenty-five Year Award.

Green | Jun 22, 2022

The business case for passive house multifamily

A trio of Passive House experts talk about the true costs and benefits of passive house design and construction for multifamily projects. 

Building Team | Jun 22, 2022

Design for new San Clemente Marine Safety Headquarters would create new public plaza

A proposed design by HMC Architects for a new San Clemente Marine Safety Headquarters makes creative use of the seaside topography of the Pacific Coast.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: