The number of schools planning recreation facility construction projects has increased, but the average size and cost of projects decreased, according to a new report from NIRSA, formerly known as the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association.
NIRSA surveyed its member institutions last fall for the Facility Construction and Renovation Report (2013-2018). Of the 670 institutions, 92 (14 percent) reported plans for construction or renovation, including 157 construction projects currently in progress, which represent $1.7 billion.
Although the total amount of money spent on recreation facility construction has not changed since NIRSA released its last construction report in 2010, the number of schools reporting construction plans increased by 12 percent, from 82 to 92, and the number of projects increased by 21.7 percent, from 129 to 157.
The average project size is 40,000 square feet, a 47.3 percent decrease from 75,849 square feet in 2010. The average cost of a construction project is $10.8 million, an 18.2 percent decrease from $13.2 million in 2010.
The report also examined the reasons for construction. More than 70 percent of respondents said they wanted to increase access to campus recreation offerings. More than 50 percent of respondents said campus expansion was a reason for construction, and more than 30 percent said the age of their facilities was a factor. Other motivations for construction included building community and facilitating student learning.
NIRSA research and reports are available to NIRSA members here.