University of Toledo

Toledo,

Student Housing And Recreation Master Plan And Dining Impact Analysis

B&D, as part of a team with SmithGroupJJR, was engaged in 2015 by the University of Toledo to develop a multiple campus master plan that would provide a basis for coordinating physical development decisions and identifying priorities for near- and long-term physical needs. The university was in a very competitive marketplace both regionally and locally in terms of recruiting students and keeping them on campus. In addition, despite minor enhancements in the past 25 years, the recreation center needed updating due to student preferences and usage patterns and an increase in private health and fitness clubs in the area surrounding the campus. our work plan included:

• Focus groups with students to understand their housing, dining, and campus recreation preferences and gain qualitative information to support the ensuing survey
• Stakeholder interviews with key members of the university staff and administration
• An assessment of peer institutions competing for the university’s students
• An off-campus housing and recreation facility analysis
• An Internet-based survey to test student demand and preferences for housing and recreation facilities
• A demand analysis to identify total housing and recreation space needs

Based on our findings, we recommended the University complete an economic analysis of its housing system, conduct a public-private partnership assessment to determine its viability as a financing option, and finalize a phasing and implementation plan that incorporates the students’ demand requirements with the economic and land-use realities of the campus master plan. For the campus recreation needs, we recommended special consideration be given to the location and quantity of outdoor field space, that an analysis be conducted to determine if there is space for an addition to the existing center, and that an investment be made in equipment upgrades and cosmetic improvements to the center to ensure the facility best meets the needs of the student community.