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ATL
Digi

Atlanta
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ATL
Digi

Atlanta
Digital

 

Higher education institutions increased investments in their campus facilities by more than 26% year-over-year in 2023, according to a new report from Gordian. The 11th edition of the State of Facilities in Higher Education report reveals the significant facilities investments over the past year have reduced the spending shortfall to 34%, closing the gap by 2 percentage points from Gordian’s analysis last year.

The report is based on comprehensive analysis from Gordian’s database of 43,000 campus buildings, 1.1 billion gross square feet of space and more than $13.5 billion in capital and operating budgets.

higher education facilities
(Photo: Adobe Stock / Monkey Business)

 

“After last year’s call to action, it’s rewarding to see campus leaders stepping up with transformative strategies,” said Kris Gorriarán, President of Gordian. “This report offers valuable insights for higher education authorities striving to honor their institutional missions amid space, budget and staffing trials.”

Service, Staffing Are Challenges

Here’s a look at some of the challenges campus leaders face, according to the report:

  • Space growth has remained flat for the third year, marking a real signal that institutions are recognizing the importance of restraint in the face of countless indicators about the future.
  • Capital spending on existing buildings is now $5.20/GSF, growing more than 26% year-over-year. However, inflation has pushed the cost of stewarding existing space to $7.85/GSF.
  • The pandemic presented an opportunity to alter service expectations and rein in costs going forward, but service quality appears to be declining for the first time in a decade.
  • Facilities leaders suggest that finding talented staff is their greatest challenge, and without sufficient people to care for a facilities portfolio, the properties will deteriorate more quickly.

higher education facilities“This year’s report takes a deeper dive into the staffing challenges that have accelerated in higher education and some creative efforts being taken to overcome these hurdles,” said Pete Zuraw, Vice President of Market Strategy and Development for Gordian.

“It is also exciting to see that while some of the current challenges and risks we see in the data are daunting, the innovative energy and commitment to investment being demonstrated by campus facilities stewards suggests there are reasons to be encouraged about the strength of the state of higher ed facilities and the work ahead,” Zuraw added.

The State of Facilities in Higher Education report analyzes trends on North American campuses, and offers strategic guidance to navigate the sector’s most pressing issues. It also features real-world case studies and commentary from higher education leaders. Gordian collaborates with leading higher education societies, including APPA, SCUP, and NACUBO to create the report.

Facility Executive Magazine