College Planning & Management

MAY 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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LIVING ON CAMPUS R ESIDENCE HALL CONSTRUCTION APPEARS TO BE taking place on a large number of college campuses across the United States in an effort to house growing numbers of students, to provide relatively safe on-campus living quarters, and to create comfortable learning communities with full access to needed technology. Each year, editors at College Planning & Management use information provided by Market Data Retrieval, a Dun & Bradstreet Company, to locate college residence hall projects underway or being planned. To the fullest extent possible, sources at the colleges or at their architectural firms are identified and sent a one-page questionnaire asking for detailed information on the size, cost, and location of these projects and about the amenities they contain. Information provided on these questionnaires is the basic input for this report. Information on 40 projects was provided for this 12th annual study of college residence hall construction. Each of the 40 opened or is opening between August 2012 and 2014. Together they will house 18,002 students in 6,100,000 sq. ft. Their total cost is more than $1.2B. It should be noted that this year's projects tend to be somewhat smaller than those reported on a year ago. Each year's survey includes different projects and different colleges, so while year-to-year comparisons may be tempting and interesting, they do not necessarily provide any indication of trends. Table 1 shows summary information on the 40 projects, and also examines them in terms of their size, location, and governance. Table 1 The median residence hall reported this year houses 423 students, costs $29.7M, and encompasses 145,000 sq. ft. Cost per student averaged $67,973, very slightly lower than a year ago. Cost per square foot dropped slightly, to $199.91. To reiterate, year-to-year comparisons are tempting but not necessarily trend indicators. Space allocated per bed in the median project was 336 sq. ft., calculated by dividing the entire size of the building by the number of students housed. This is a major increase over the previous year (7.8 percent higher) and probably has more to do with other space included in the residence hall as a whole rather than specifically an increase in the size of student quarters. The space per sleeping area would be much smaller (than 336 sq. ft.) and probably little different from previous years. RESIDENCE HALL SIZE Just seven of the residence halls reported this year house fewer than 250 students. They range from 42 to 145 students. Four of the seven are private, but the smallest is at a public college. Though they are small, they are not inexpensive, with the median cost per student among them sitting at $65,882. They provide 331 sq. ft. per student, close to the national median. There are 21 reports on residence halls with 251 to 500 students. Their median cost was $28.7M, and the median number of students is 350. In terms of cost per student and cost per square foot, these medium-sized residence halls appear to be the most Cost & Size of Residence Halls Cost of Total Project* Number of Students Size of Project (sq. ft.) Cost per Student Cost per Sq. Ft. Sq. Ft. per Bed All Reporting Colleges (sample size 40) $29,708,799 423 145,000 $67,973 $199.91 335.9 <250 beds (sample size 7) $11,410,000 170 52,800 $65,882 $200.76 330.9 251-500 beds (sample size 21) $28,700,715 350 131,155 $79,595 $210.68 378.0 >500 beds (sample size 12) $39,498,650 696 189,540 $58,351 $196.06 271.5 Midwest (sample size 7) $34,100,000 339 150,812 $88,030 $210.68 341.2 East Coast (sample size 14) $31,097,497 400 135,578 $61,439 $210.91 315.0 Southeast (sample size 11) $26,615,000 451 150,000 $57,650 $163.91 420.3 Southwest (sample size 4) $13,820,885 441 112,789 $34,570 $131.82 262.0 West (sample size 4) $69,850,000 661 241,000 $96,920 $284.00 363.3 Public (sample size 32) $31,097,497 443 161,050 $75,265 $212.81 325.0 Private (sample size 8) $13,200,000 280 81,134 $61,864 $166.56 386.8 *All figures are medians for sample shown. Each median was determined independently so figures may not add up. To read this table: The median total cost of 40 reporting residence halls was $27,708,799. The median cost among the seven with fewer than 250 students was $11,410,000. Cost per student at smaller residences was $65,882; it was $58,351 at those with 500-plus beds. 20 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MAY 2013 WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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