College Planning & Management

FEB 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Page 18 of 71

Construction Report 2013 College 2013 Coll e lege NATIONAL STATISTICS WHAT HAPPENED IN 2012? WHAT'S PROJECTED FOR 2013? BUILDING TRENDS HOW ARE CONSTRUCTION DOLLARS BEING USED? MEDIAN COSTS HOW DO COSTS DIFFER FOR BUILDING TYPES? Proceeding With Caution Research shows that colleges and universities continue to build, guardedly, as the national economy slowly recovers. BY PAUL ABR AMSON A S 2012 WOUND DOWN, OUR NATION WAS STUCK in an economic stalemate that left businesses, individuals, and colleges wondering what was coming next. We had just come out of a national and local election campaign season where cutting spending and taxes seemed to be the clarion call. Gridlock in Washington threatened to bring our nation's economy to a standstill. Businesses and individuals worried about changes that might or might not come, affecting their 2013 income. Would income taxes rise precipitously? Would business taxes change significantly? And college administrators worried whether the uncertain- ties of tax laws or the emphasis on cutting would cause regular donors or governors and state legislators to trim their spending on higher education. It was not a good time for looking ahead and planning confidently for continued growth in college construction programs. The number of identified projects listed as being "on hold; awaiting funding decisions" grew exponentially. Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that college construction completed in 2012 — and projected for 2013 — declined from previous years. As a matter of fact, in 2012 colleges and universities throughout the United States put less than $10B worth of construction in place, the first time since 2001 that annual college construction fell that low.

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