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"Limit the Impact: Build Only What You Need"
Author: Karp, Katie,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: November/December 2012

Economic downturn. Budget constraints. Cost of attendance. Campus infrastructure needs. Building to compete. For many colleges and universities, these phrases have become all too familiar over the last five years. With today's economic challenges, educational institutions are finding themselves in constrained financial positions. They are struggling to continue academic or research programs and provide student support services while experiencing declining endowments, fluctuating enrollments, and federal and state funding shortages. Institutions manage these challenges in markedly different ways. Some are cautious and work to maintain their overall financial position. Others are concerned with preserving their debt capacity. Nearly all are wary of increasing the cost of student attendance. With the reality of today's financial constraints, it is important for colleges and universities to maximize the value of existing resources in order to minimize the impact of investing in new facilities. To maximize current assets, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of existing facility conditions and current space use. Taking a strategic approach to campus master planning and creating a master plan for existing facilities will allow an institution to make the most efficient use of its space needs through physical adjacencies, a standardized space plan, and shared resources. All such steps will limit space redundancies that may create an artificial demand for new construction. (Contains 1 figure.)

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