Feature Article - June 2009
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A Look at Trends in Colleges & Universities

Build It and They Will Come

Colleges and universities commonly use their recreation facilities as campus centerpieces both to attract new students as well as to keep current students happy and healthy. They invest a great deal in these initiatives, and those sizeable investments have not seen much change this year.

While college and university respondents were less likely than average to have construction plans in the next three years, their likelihood to be planning new facilities, additions or renovations has not changed much over last year's survey, with respondents this year just slightly less likely to have plans in place.

Last year, 26 percent of college respondents had plans for new facilities, while this year, just a quarter do. And while 28.6 percent last year were planning additions, this year, 28 percent have such plans. Finally, 37 percent of last year's college respondents were planning renovations, while 35.1 percent this year indicated they have renovations in the works. More than 42 percent of college respondents have no plans in place at this time, compared to 36.7 percent of all respondents. (See Figure 43.)

With all of that said, respondents from colleges and universities have by far the largest budgets for their facility plans, $9,855,000 on average, more than twice the average for all facility types of $4,835,000, and 35.4 percent higher than last year's respondents in this category were planning for construction ($7,278,900).