Despite the coronavirus pandemic, many college and university residences were completed in time for classes, live or virtual.
As the coronavirus pandemic grabbed hold last spring, the student housing design and construction industry, like so much of the country’s economic sectors, faced gnawing uncertainties. Would universities open in the fall? Would students be allowed to return to campus? Or would all learning be done remotely? If so, would college residence construction be put on hold? For months, no one had definitive answers to these questions.
In July, ahead of the scheduled opening of most classes for the fall semester, I interviewed Mitch Dalton, Chief Director of Design at Core Spaces, for our new streaming service “The Weekly” about his company’s survey of 2,500 of its tenants—students who live in Core Spaces’ off-campus housing. Ninety percent of them said they wanted to come back to campus. Almost three-quarters (73%) said they would return to their off-campus apartments even if their institutions offered only online instruction.
Most of the students (60%) said they were dissatisfied with remote learning. Understandably, they missed the classroom give-and-take with their professors and fellow students. Isn’t that what “the college experience” is all about? Even so, four in five (80%) said they would rather study remotely in their college apartments than at home. As we’ve all learned, “work from home” is not the unadulterated blessing it was made out to be, pre-Covid.
In the fall, as the nation’s more than 4,000 colleges and universities struggled with whether to open for in-person instruction, go fully remote, or try some sort of hybrid scheme, construction—deemed an essential business—continued apace on student housing projects across the country. Here are 14 of the newest student residences on or near America’s college campuses.
4. THE AVENUE | FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.
Located just minutes from the University of Arkansas campus, The Avenue offers 180 fully furnished two- and four-bedroom apartments with private bedrooms (652 total) and bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, in-unit washer/dryers, 55-inch smart HDTVs, 2GB internet wired and wireless service, and a resort-style pool. Students can control common area smart lighting, smart thermostats, and smart ceiling fans through an integrated system anchored by an Amazon Echo Dot. Kitchen & Associates was the architect and Southern Building Group the contractor for Haven Campus Communities. PHOTO: RMA SERVICES HTTP://RMASERVICES.ORG/
A typical kitchen space at The Avenue. Amenities include study pods, a grab-and-go snack shop, and a 10,400-sf clubhouse. Haven Campus Communities (developer) provided a fitness center, a pavilion with multiple HDTVs, built-in grilling stations, a tanning room, private study rooms, a computer center, a cyber-lounge, and a Starbucks. PHOTO: RMA SERVICES HTTP://RMASERVICES.ORG/