The Ups and Downs of Campus Construction

There are ups — and there are downs. In 1995, when College Planning & Management came on the scene, $6.1B worth of college construction was put in place. By 2000, college construction was shifting into high gear. During three years — 2005, 2006, and 2007 — college construction completed averaged almost $14.7B. This year the figures are not nearly as positive. According to the College Planning & Management’s 15th Annual College Construction Report, college construction completed in 2009 fell to just $10.7B, the lowest it has been since 2001 (you can find the complete Construction Report with national and regional data on our Website). The effects of the recession have hit hard, reducing the value of endowments, lessening donations, and slowing construction — delaying some projects and putting others on hold. But with education being a priority of President Obama, politicians, and the public — when the economy turns, I am sure that investments in education will lead the way.

To be sure that we are ready to build the safest and best campuses possible when the funds are available, you may notice some changes in the magazine. First is the addition of a new column by Mike Halligan on fire and life safety. Mike is the associate director of Environmental Health and Safety at the University of Utah and is responsible for Fire Prevention and Special Events Life safety. In Mike’s column, you can look forward to hearing about performance-based code solutions for campus building projects, as well as other important aspects of fire and life safety. You can read Mike’s first column on page 10 in this issue.

You may also notice a new URL for our Website. Through the years we have developed a number of sites to house our research and article archive; a comprehensive buyers’ guide for education; and our education design showcase, a database containing hundreds of college and university projects. All of these sites are now linked through one portal — While the economy is making things a little harder for all of us, we hope to make things a little easier for you!