College of the Holy Cross


Campus Life Strategic Plan

In 2010 the College of the Holy Cross was looking for a strategic plan to develop a vibrant residential campus community. At the time, it had ten residence halls on campus in a mix of traditional, suite, and apartment styles. Its occupancy had grown to the point where spaces designed for common areas were being converted into student housing. Providing activity spaces and programs was also a critical component to the overall residential experience the college wanted its students to have. B&D was hired to put together this plan and our approach included research that incorporated input from administrators, faculty, and students. We examined the college’s existing conditions with respect to housing, student life spaces, enrollment data, peer institutions, and off-campus market conditions and applied these analyses toward developing recommendations that would provide students with a unique environment. Our recommendation was that the college build an off-campus mixed-use development that would include at least 250 apartment-style student beds and a variety of dining and retail spaces. Faculty housing could also be added to this plan, and we also included space for a unique freshman living-learning center and a student life center to include dining, recreation, and social spaces.


In a recent letter to the President’s Council, Rev. Michael McFarland, S.J. explained that the core problem of the off-campus issues is the lack of an active, on-campus student life, especially compared to other similar schools.