Large new construction projects on collegiate campuses typically generate buzz amongst students and faculty alike. The impact on the campus fabric, from construction noise to safety fencing, becomes an unavoidable but intriguing occurrence that can generate quite a bit of excitement. The financial scope of these project types can reach tens- to hundreds-of-millions of dollars and, although large projects are important to the viability of a college or university, sometimes even small investments can have a big influence on the student experience. Beyond the immediate student body, they can lead to big returns for institutions, communities, and the economy.
An example of a project with significant, lasting impact can be found at Daytona State College’s Daytona Beach Campus in Florida. DLR Group was tasked with transforming two traditional lecture classrooms and support spaces on the second floor of the iconic Mori Hosseini Center into an active learning environment for the newly created Hospitality Beverage Science program. At just under 3,000 SF with a construction and FF&E budget of less than $1 million, you may find these figures trivial for a college that serves more than 16,000 students. But the potential return on investment for the state as a whole is the real driver behind the project.