University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa,

Student Union, Student Services Center, Counseling And Women’s Resources Centers, And Student Media Building Preliminary Assessment

The University of Alabama selected B&D in 2006 to conduct an assessment of the Ferguson Student Center, the Student Services Center, the Counseling and Women’s Resources Centers, and the Student Media Building. The project also included an analysis of the potential adaptive reuse of the historic Foster Auditorium building for student life functions. The university wanted to better understand the potential impact of projected enrollment growth and the need to remain competitive with other institutions. Our scope of work included interviews with users of these facilities; an analysis of existing usage data, space inventory, and user satisfaction data; and the development of concepts to meet the identified demand. We were able to identify the demand for renovations to the Ferguson Student Center and the Student Services Center, assess the potential impact of other campus facilities’ projects for both short- and long-term implications, and develop conceptual programs with outlined space requirements describing what would create a true “Student Center” for a school with a population of more than 26,000. Our research revealed that the current Student Center was not meeting the needs of the campus community and that its existing design limited its appeal and created an unfavorable perception of campus life opportunities. The demand analysis showed support for improved meeting, retail, study/social gathering, and other student activity spaces, not just in preparation for enrollment growth but also to resolve existing utilization issues.