Campus Spending

Gordian Report: Investments in Higher Education Facilities Up 26%

Data-driven solutions provider Gordian recently released its latest State of Facilities in Higher Education report, which revealed that higher-education institutions ramped up their reinvestment in facilities by more than 26% year-over-year during 2023, according to a news release. The eleventh edition of the report compiles data from all phases of the building’s lifecycle from a database of 43,000 campus buildings, $13.5 billion in capital and operating budgets, and 1.1 billion square feet of space.

“After last year's call to action, it's rewarding to see campus leaders stepping up with transformative strategies,” said Gordian President Kris Gorriarán. “This report offers valuable insights for higher education authorities striving to honor their institutional missions amid space, budget and staffing trials.”

The report also revealed a number of challenges facing campus leaders. First, space growth remained flat for the third consecutive year, indicating that institutions have recognized the value of restraint. Capital spending on existing buildings sits at $5.20/GSF, up more than 26%. The cost of maintaining existing space has risen to $7.85/GSF due to inflation. Following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, service quality appears to be entering a decline for the first time in about ten years. Facilities leaders have also reported that their greatest challenge is finding talented staff to care for their campus’ full facilities portfolio.

“This year’s report takes a deeper dive into the staffing challenges that have accelerated in higher education and some creative efforts being taken to overcome these hurdles,” said Pete Zuraw, Gordian’s Vice President of Market Strategy and Development. “It is also exciting to see that while some of the current challenges and risks we see in the data are daunting, the innovative energy and commitment to investment being demonstrated by campus facilities stewards suggests there are reasons to be encouraged about the strength of the state of higher ed facilities and the work ahead.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].