CORVALLIS, OR — National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) member institutions are in the process of constructing $3.1 billion in capital projects for recreation facilities, according to a recent study from NIRSA.

The NIRSA National Center administered the NIRSA Facility Construction Survey in which 220 member institutions reported construction projects that are either in progress or on the horizon. The 220 schools have a combined enrollment of 2.6 million students. The facilities represented in the report are expected to serve 1.96 million students each year.

The average project expenditure in the survey is $19.4 million, an increase of $5.2 million from 2004. The average new construction expenditure is $21.9 million (based on 88 NIRSA member institutions that plan new construction). The average expansion expenditure is $13.3 million (based on 44 institutions expanding). The average renovation expenditure is $6.1 million (based on 60 institutions renovating). Also, 25 projects for outdoor facilities/fields are under way, with an average area of 15 acres.

The cost to build a multimillion-dollar recreational complex has increased from $2 million to $49 million during the past 20 years, according to the “Kerr & Downs Research Report — Buying Power of Participants of Recreational Sports on College Campuses (2002).” During the next five years, an estimated 400 indoor and 318 outdoor recreational facilities that NIRSA members manage will be built or renovated for an estimated $4.9 billion, the report projected.

Complete data for the recent NIRSA study, including project descriptions, is available to NIRSA members. The data is accessible in the member-only password-protected area at www.nirsa.org, under the heading “Research Central.”