Photo courtesy of the TAMU-San Antonio Facebook

Now that students are flocking back to university campuses, new initiatives to enhance recruitment competition are creating an abundance of contracting opportunities. New student housing projects are extremely common, but university officials are also launching other types of projects designed to enrich the campus experience. Recruitment competition is so extreme that the state of California has budgeted $1.8 billion in interest-free loans for students. The initiatives that follow are similar to ones being launched on campuses throughout the country.

Officials at Arizona State University may have the greatest number of new projects planned. Their planning documents outline 150 new projects of various types that will be launched on many of university system’s campuses. One $175 million project includes a new building that will be specifically designed to support a growing interest and high demand for education career tracks that require research disciplines. The new facility will deliver additional classroom space and other types of research needs for the polytechnic campus in Mesa, Arizona. This project will launch in 2023. Officials have also announced plans for construction of a new academic building on the university’s West Campus. The concept design for this facility includes computer labs, drawing labs, and office space. Construction on the multi-use building is planned to begin in 2023. Another project that has been announced is a new residential hall which will also be located on the system’s West Campus. The new building includes four stories and a cumulative 55,000 square feet for student galleries, computer labs, drawing labs, and office space. The multi-use facility will be scalable, with design considerations made for future expansion work. The $33.5 million building will begin construction in 2023 and it is expected to be operational two years after that.

A $32.5 million project has been announced for the Georgia Gwinnett College campus in Lawrenceville. It also has a scheduled launch date for 2023. The new facility will deliver approximately 80,000 square feet of multi-use space and it will be designed to serve as a venue for large events on campus. The facility will also include space for physical education programming and recreational sports, locker rooms, fitness space, concessions, a student lounge area, and dedicated wellness rooms.

A large student housing project, which carries a projected construction cost that could be as high as $98 million, is planned for the Oxford campus of the University of Mississippi system.
The new student residence facility will create between 600 and 1,000 new beds. Planning documents indicate that the new dorm will meet all desired goals of equity, connectivity, and rewarding interactions among students and faculty.

Texas A&M University’s San Antonio campus will also get a new residence hall. Construction on this facility is planned for 2023 and the project has a projected cost of approximately $32.5 million. The current residential hall on campus needs repair and it can no longer meet demands because of the growth in student enrollment. The new dormitory will provide approximately 340 new beds and reports indicate that it will be available to house students by 2024.

A $75 million project has been announced by the Grand Valley State University System in Michigan. The Allendale campus will soon see construction activity for a new building that is designed to be an attractive incentive for students. This new flexible learning center will be constructed to meet the demand for students interested in technology career paths. It will provide a multi-disciplinary space designed to cultivate technological and digital proficiencies for students. Components of the design include enhanced teaching spaces, digital production studios, and collaborative research labs. This effort is related to the universities’ planned initiative to expand technology resources and accommodate today’s new digital literacy demands.

Illinois State University is designing a $185 million student housing project that will be located on the system’s south campus. The new building will include 1,200 new beds and a 700-seat dining center. University officials say that the project was scoped to address a critical deficiency in campus housing and a launch date should be announced very soon.

Construction projects on university campuses are expected to increase and new announcements about upcoming projects appear to indicate a national trend. Along with the construction, projects will also result in high demand for landscaping design, leading edge technology, security equipment of all types, and an abundance of new internal furniture and equipment.

Mary Scott Nabers

As President and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., Mary Scott Nabers has decades of experience working in the public-private sector. A well-recognized expert in the P3 and government contracting fields, she is often asked to share her industry insights with top publications and through professional speaking engagements.