Lake Tahoe Community College

South Lake Tahoe,

Student Housing Development Advisory Services and Demand Analysis

In the summer of 2016, Lake Tahoe Community College engaged Brailsford & Dunlavey to conduct a student housing demand analysis to understand overall student demand. The College had already developed the residential living portion of its facilities master plan but wanted to better understand the students’ specific needs, including unit offerings and amenities. College stakeholders also wanted the proposed housing to act as a mechanism for catalyzing campus life by creating a critical mass of students on campus. In addition to the housing project, B&D also explored several alternate funding processes to finance the facility, including a public-private partnership.

B&D’s approach to this analysis involved an active working relationship with the students and staff to develop an understanding of the College’s mission, thus ensuring project goals were in line with those of the institution. The strategic work plan included student and stakeholder focus groups, an off-campus market analysis, a student survey, and a demand study based on that survey. After synthesizing these analyses, B&D developed a financial program to determine its recommendation for the funding mechanism most appropriate to the project’s goals, and provided a support facility analysis that evaluated the cost of ancillary services needed to support any new housing, i.e. – campus safety, student services, foodservice, and support services.

In the final analysis, a demand was demonstrated for all unit types; specifically, B&D’s plan showed a total demand across all ages and rent types for 224 beds, with a potential for 127 more if students living with guardians were to be counted. Three financial scenarios were presented to the College officials to help them determine the mechanism that best fit their vision and financial capabilities. Additionally, B&D recommended the following next steps to enhance and develop the project, and thereby produce the desired goal of a stronger sense of campus community:

• Explore potential partnership opportunities within the development market through an RFI process
• Continue outreach efforts with the community during the process to identify potential market partnerships that can be created through using the facility
• Perform a detailed project refinement to further define concepts within the physical and financial realities of student housing
• Assess the proposed foodservice program to focus on the incorporation of a staff and meal plan schedule to provide service seven days a week