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Student Housing Construction Grows at Universities Across the Country


Following high school graduation, many young adults choose to head to college. Over the years, the number of people taking an academic route has grown. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, college enrollment for Americans age 18 to 24 has grown from 25.7 percent in 1970 to 40 percent in 2014. With more people packing their bags and heading to college, campuses have become crowded.

As a result, many top schools are beginning to realize that expansion is necessary if they want to continue to bring in more young scholars. One of the biggest issues is housing. Typically, there is little question about where to live during the first two years of college. Many schools require freshmen and sophomores to live on campus.

To encourage more students to opt to live in dorms rather than nearby apartments, universities are changing up their living quarters. Building Design & Construction reported that dorm rooms are getting smaller, but common areas are getting bigger and adding more amenities.

“Students who live on campus have a higher graduation rate.”

College Construction Across the Country

University leaders hope that these living-learning buildings facilitate more socialization and learning among students. Plus, these attractive accommodations could be used as a recruitment tool. On-campus housing options are designed to reflect the university’s culture and brand.

One example can be found at Northern Michigan University, where university construction of new dorms began in August, according to a press release from EdR, the developer heading up the construction. The project is a living-learning community that will span several buildings that, in addition to dorm rooms, will include:

  • Classrooms
  • Laundry facilities
  • TV and lounge rooms
  • Fireplaces
  • Lobbies that will feature art shows, university functions and student events

“I think the enhanced on-campus housing is an incredibly positive, transformative opportunity for Northern Michigan University,” Fritz Erickson, the university’s president, said in a statement. “It is going to allow us to greatly strengthen our capabilities to recruit and retain students in today’s highly competitive education environment, enrich student life and address a very serious facilities and maintenance issue.”

On the other side of the country, the University of California Santa Barbara is also in the beginning phases of constructing new student living-learning quarters. Reading rooms, social sections and dining areas will dot the pedestrian walkway that will wind between two- and three-story apartment buildings. This project was drafted with the intention of bringing in 5,000 more students in less than a decade, according to The Architect’s Newspaper.

Universities want students to socialize and feel like they are a part of the campus culture.Upgrading and expanding living-learning areas on college campus is meant to facilitate greater socialization.

With more on-campus accommodations, some schools are asking students to choose university-provided housing options over off-campus choices.

With college construction increasing, it’s important that developers know how to approach these projects. While college campuses are an environment for learning and personal growth, they can also be known for rowdy, adventurous or misbehaved students. As such, construction equipment needs to be in a protected place. Mobile Mini’s construction storage solutions will keep all supplies securely out of sight and out of the hands of unauthorized personnel.