College Planning & Management

JUN 2012

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Total residence hall construction over those 10 years certainly exceeded $26B. Among other fi ndings: • The average residence hall housed 374 students. There were a few much larger and some that had fewer than 100 beds, but even when lows and highs are dis- counted, the median residence hall over 10 years housed 372 students, essentially the same number as the average. • The cost of residence halls has risen, but perhaps not as much as might be expected. From 2003 through 2008, cost per sq. ft. rose relatively rapidly (see Graph A) from $148 to $231, but 2008 may have been an aberration. Since then costs have fallen and, among reporting projects, has stabilized nationally around $200 per sq. ft. The recession started in 2008, and as a result there may have been more competi- tion for construction contracts, holding costs down. • Median cost per bed over the fi rst two years of the study was about $45,000 (see Graph B). Five years later it had stabilized around $69,000 per student. Last year it approached $80,000 but, in the current group, the median cost is $68,106 per student. Again, these fi gures are not necessarily comparable since there is no control over the range of colleges report- ing in a single year, but they follow the same pattern as costs per sq. ft., peaking in 2008 and then falling back. • The space allocated per bed over 10 years (see Graph C) averaged out at 333 sq. ft. There was one residence hall (at a semi- nary) that provided just 60 sq ft. per bed, and there were a few indicating that their residence halls provided almost 500 sq. ft. per student, but the great majority fall into the range of 310 to 375 sq. ft. per bed. That does not mean every bed is in an area of 333 sq. ft. The calculation was made by dividing the total space of the residence hall by the number of students to be accommodated. The seminary with just 60 sq. ft. per student provided virtually nothing but sleeping rooms. Most residence halls include signifi cant additional space, including TV rooms, study rooms, laundry rooms, computer centers, kitchens, and social space. Over the 10 years, more than one-third of new residence halls included classrooms, and one in fi ve included a fi tness room. All of these activities and spaces are included in the calculation of space per student bed. CPM Why tear down walls when you can raise revenue? Paul Abramson is education industry analyst for CP&M and president of Stan- ton Leggett & Associates, an educational facilities consulting fi rm based in Mama- roneck, NY. He was named CEPFI's 2008 "Planner of the Year." He can be reached at %JXIV Upgrading your furniture raises needed revenue. Get a fresh new look for a fraction of the cost of new furniture. The Refinishing Touch revitalizes dorm rooms, libraries, lounges and more with an on-site, eco-friendly process that gives you a wide selection of fabrics, finishes, hardware and surfaces to choose from. So why buy new when you can renew? Contact us today and save up to 80%. JUNE 2012 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 35 &IJSVI Cost Benefit Analysis Eastern Mennonite U. New furniture: $ 257,040.00 Refinished by TRT: $ 54,909.75 Savings of 78.6% ------------------------ Carbon Footprint Analysis New furniture: 93.99 Tons Refinished by TRT: 0.93 Tons Savings of 98.94 Xs

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