University of California, Riverside


Student Union Market Analysis, Financial/operational Analysis, And Referendum Support

In 2001 B&D was retained by the University of California, Riverside to complete a feasibility study and program, and manage the spring fee referendum process for renovation and expansion of its student union, the Commons. Our scope of work included: an analysis of peer institutions; financial and operation analyses; a survey and focus groups to determine perception and demand; and demand-based programming of the proposed spaces. We found that the Commons’ current size, offerings, and amenities were considered inadequate and this would become more acute as the enrollment grew. We recommended a renovation and expansion to be funded with a $90/student/quarter fee. The student referendum on the fee increase passed successfully. In the design phase, we prepared an operating study and performed a benchmarking analysis of peer institutions, then delivered a set of recommendations, one of which encouraged the university to use the opening of the new facility as an opportunity to revise its method of food service revenue-sharing. Phase l of the new Highlander Union Building was completed in 2007, and Phase ll was completed in 2008. The $50 million, 142,000 SF facility quickly achieved LEED certification.