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Colleges' capital investment into existing facilities is at its highest in more than a decade, based on data included in a new report by Sightlines that pulled data from 360 campuses reaching nearly $5 per gross square foot in 2017, and more will be needed — even as many colleges face enrollment declines and chronic budget gaps, according to Education Dive.
Institutions scrambled to add new buildings in the years following the Great Recession to lure more students, but this "arms race" could leave many colleges "with swollen campus footprints and declining tuition revenues."
Challenges remain, however. Backlogs of needed building maintenance are projected to increase as colleges fail to generate the necessary funds for what the report calls "the largest demand for capital investment that higher education has ever seen."
Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and Facilitiesnet.com.