University of Washington Tacoma


Campus Life Facilities Master Plan

B&D was retained by the University of Washington Tacoma in 2008 to provide a study of its student life facilities and project forward the impact and needs to serve a campus population of 10,000. The university was in an urban setting that had transitioned from a commuter-based campus serving juniors and seniors to a campus now serving all four years of both academic and student life. The scope of this study included an analysis of the student union, recreation centers, student housing, dining, and student health center. We completed the campus life facilities master plan for the university by identifying the demand for each facility type and the resulting preliminary architectural programs. Our work plan included the following: a strategic visioning session with administrators and student life professionals to assess the goals of any improvements to campus life facilities; a series of student/faculty/staff focus groups and interviews to gain qualitative information on activities and preferences; an off-campus analysis to determine the amenities, price points, and locations of health club, retail, and dining amenities in the downtown area; an analysis of campus life facilities at comparable institutions; two Web-based student surveys to quantify existing facility usage patterns; a model for student union, recreation, and housing facilities to project demand for spaces in new or renovated facilities; a recommended building program and budget for a combined student union and student recreation center, and an interim building program that utilized an existing facility; two financial models developed for the combined student union and recreation center and a separate financial model for student housing. We recommended a long-term strategy for the student union and recreation center using a concept that integrates some of the common needs of both building types, while allowing each to serve its respective user groups. Building efficiencies are captured, site utilization is maximized, and critical student and campus services are retained in the campus core. The total gross square footage of the fused facility would be approximately 164,000, which also would include retail dining and catering kitchen functions. As a result, the university moved forward with development of a $22 million recreation facility. The University Y Student Center opened in 2015.