The @FelicianoCenter’s @MIXLabDesign Design Charrette for “B.E.L.A.” Summer High School Program Entailing the Redevelopment of a Significant Urban Historic Site #UrbanPlanning #Redevelopment #Business #Entrepreneur #Education #HighSchool #DesignThink #Innovation #NJEd @MontclairStateU

On July 9, 2019, in the capacity of University Architect at Montclair State University (and Alumni of the Feliciano School of Business). I had the privilege of participating in a design charrette with a local high school. The project consists of an urban redevelopment site with a precious historical building at the site. I was invited by the people who run the Montclair State University MIX Lab (Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship), an interdisciplinary hub for transformative innovation, and digitally mediated making.

M.I.X. stands for Making and Innovating for X, where X is the unknown, that which exceeds our grasp, the future, and the open-ended nature of creativity, good design and big problems. The co-directors of MIX Lab are Iain Kerr, associate professor of Innovation Design, and Jason Frasca, entrepreneurship instructor.

I graciously accepted Jason and Ian’s invitation to participate as a guest critic along with another fellow professional, Frank Gerard Godlewski of Fellsbridge Studio LLC, who specializes in historic preservation in the area where the redevelopment project is located.  The format for the design charrette, hosted by the MIX Lab for the high school program led by high school teacher, Kevin Richburg, included: (1) The students, in groups of 4-5, presented their concepts for the redevelopment of the site (there were 5 teams); (2) the guest critics gave suggestions and further thoughts on how to further explore and develop the student’s ideas; (3) the guest critics summed up their thoughts for all the students with key take-aways.  The following is a recap of what I learned from the students (in so far as what is the most significant to them) and the key take-aways I offered the students (in no particular order of importance) from my perspective as an Architect who has been involved in the planning, design and construction of projects over the past 20-years.

What the Student Teams Focused on as Key Ideas for their Projects:

  • Historic preservation of the existing building
  • Connecting with local community
  • Local and state pride
  • Affordability
  • Sustainability
  • Celebration of diversity and inclusion
  • Love of the arts
  • Focus on the user “experience”
  • Spaces for families to enjoy
  • Entertainment
  • Accessibility to quality food and goods
  • Mixing of “Bright and Bold” historic and modern elements
  • Transformative
  • “Modern” vibe

Proposed Amenities of the Re-Development Site:

  • Supermarkets (one group proposed a two-story whole sale supermarket)
  • Open-air markets (farmer markets, etc.)
  • Retail, restaurants, food trucks
  • Open space, a square or plaza
  • Parking for visitors (possible tunnel or bridge)
  • Parking at perimeter

Types of Buildings (Programmed Spaces)

  • Main historic building’s exterior appearance
  • Main historic building’s exterior appearance
  • Explore modernization of existing historic building interior to suite new uses
  • Mixed use buildings with green roofs and roof top patios
  • Modern, light and transparent
  • Restaurants and sports bars
  • Entertainment – bowling alley, arcade, movie theater
  • Arts – Museum showcasing tradition and innovation
  • Grocery stores
  • Food trucks
  • Retail
  • Technology/electronics-based retail
  • Main historic building’s exterior appearance
  • Explore modernization of existing historic building interior to suite new uses
  • Mixed use buildings with green roofs and roof top patios
  • Modern, light and transparent
  • Restaurants and sports bars
  • Entertainment – bowling alley, arcade, movie theater
  • Arts – Museum showcasing tradition and innovation
  • Grocery stores
  • Food trucks
  • Retail
  • Technology/electronics-based retail

Types of Exterior Spaces

  • Open spaces with green lawns and fountains
  • Places to reflect and remember
  • ·Field with stage and seating
  • Outdoor seating for restaurants
  • Areas to relax

Key Take-Aways & Ideas for Further Exploration:

  • Site plans – Delineate site elements separately from building elements (so easier to comprehend) using color or graphics (Example)
  • Floor plans – Delineate building areas/rooms with designated color so it is easier to understand program of spaces (i.e., circulation vs apartments vs retail vs support spaces, etc.) (Example)
  • Work together as a team – commemorate each other’s strengths but give everyone credit even those whose work may be behind the scenes
  • Focus on one main idea (let other ideas support the one main theme)
  • Context and Scale – Observe and learn from the surrounding community; apply those elements to the proposed project so that it complements the adjoining communities
  • Materials – Understand how the new materials can complement the historic ones (let the original historic building stand on its own and celebrate its historical significance)
  • Consider “big box” retail versus the Local “pop ups” (gentrification good and bad)
  • Parking/Transportation – As mass transportation has changed from ships to locomotives to buses and cars; look to the future as the world heads to autonomous vehicles (particularly China).  If parking is required think about how a parking lot or parking garage can be transformed in the future.  Example
  • Sustainability is important but do not forget to consider W.E.L.L. as well.  LEED/Sustainability concepts Resource 1 ; Resource 2 also check out the following link for ides about other program types for the redevelopment project Resource 3
  • Consider more technology in your projects, for instance: Smart CitiesAR/VR, and other innovate concepts, like: Immersive Experience and Virtual reality in theme park attractions. Also consider utilizing QR Codes as a teaching tool.
  • Consider developing a pedestrian mall by converting an existing street into a pedestrian friendly zone like they have done in Jersey City, NJ or Times Square, New York City, NY or Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, NV, the taking cars, trucks and buses off the street and giving the spaces back to the pedestrians who can enjoy it (also it would make the entire site one big site instead of two separate parcels dived by thru traffic).
  • Lastly, and not least important, when considering injecting modern elements with historic architecture, it must be considered whether the original is to remain intact or be altered.  There are interesting examples of tasteful alterations, however, the older I get the less comfortable I am with injecting new with old for the sake of “shock” value (where as a student of architecture 20 years ago the concept was more appealing).  I reminded the students of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, and the ensuing debate that is going on whether or not the renovations/upgrades should be true to the original or whether the new design should be bold and innovating and perhaps less true to the original.  Whether the designers choose to go in one direction or another much thought should be given to preserving the historical elements of our precious structures because they are irreplaceable (think Grand Central Station in New York City, NY, which acted as a catalyst for the preservation movement).  Click here to read about the history of the Preservation Battle of Grand Central Station.

Overall, I was impressed by the talent and creativity of all the students and I was pleased with the quality of their presentations. I hope I was able to contribute in some small way to the success of their respective projects.  The high school student participants’ contributions to the build environment would be welcomed by the design and construction industry, since the students are willing to understand and develop their skills in the area of deep thought, innovation, design, construction and socio-economic concepts at an early age.  I gladly encouraged each and every one of them by letting them know that if they choose a career in architecture, engineering, real-estate development, construction or related field that they would certainly all be able to achieve their goals based on their willingness and eagerness to learn and present their visions and concepts.   I hope my involvement was as rewarding for the students as it was for me.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


University Architect @FrankCunhaIII Leads Architectural Walking Tour of @MontclairStateU’s Campus for Architect Guests, @AIANJ AIA Newark Suburban #AIA #University #Architect

On May 18th, AIA Newark Suburban held a campus walking tour of Montclair State University led by fellow member, Architect Frank Cunha III, AIA.  The tour addressed the history of the campus and the way it has been designed and constructed to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of the buildings and grounds.

Building on a distinguished history dating back to 1908, Montclair State University is a leading institution of higher education in New Jersey.  Designated a Research Doctoral University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University’s 11 colleges and schools serve more than 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students with more than 300 doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate programs. Situated on a beautiful, 252-acre suburban campus just 12 miles from New York City, Montclair State delivers the instructional and research resources of a large public university in a supportive, sophisticated and diverse academic environment. University Facilities currently manages 70 buildings and approximately 5 million gross square feet of space on our campus. More information available: https://www.montclair.edu/about-montclair

Frank Cunha III, AIA, University Architect, has been with the University Facilities team since 2007.  Since graduating from the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture in 1998, he has obtained licenses to practice architecture in 9 states.  Frank is currently completing his Masters in Business Administration at Montclair State University and expects to graduate in May 2019.

Frank is passionate about strategic planning, architectural design and constructing of complex projects in a challenging and ever-changing environment.  He considers the environment, energy, and the health and wellness of the occupants during all phases of the project while addressing the programming needs to ensure the stakeholder’s program requirements are met and align with the organization’s mission, vision and values.

With the assistance of his design and construction teams, Frank has been responsible for many projects of various size and scope around campus. Some project highlights include: Student Recreation Center, Center for Environmental Life Sciences, Cali School of Music, School of Nursing, the Center for Computing and Information Science, Sinatra Hall, School of Business, Schmitt Hall and historic renovation and addition to College Hall, to name a few.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Bring Your Children to Work Day at @MontclairStateU #ArchWeek19 #CitizenArchitect #BlueprintForBetter #ilmaBlog #Architecture #UniversityArchitect

Brief Announcement
On April 25th, Frank Cunha III & Michael Chiappa participated in a Bring Your Children to Work Day at MSU where we were able to teach the children about architecture, planning, design and construction. We showed them the old ways, the current ways and the future ways that architects envision projects and help build the world around us.

About Bring Your Children to Work Day
National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is recognized on the fourth Thursday in April each year. This annual event is an educational program in the United States and Canada where parents take their children to work with them for one day.

Presentation
The following is the slideshow we presented to the children:

About the Event
This year some of the parents decided to focus on STEM and what it means to be an Architect….a profession that is both creative and artistic, yet methodical and scientific. We explored what it means to be an Architect and other STEM fields and how anyone, regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity can aspire to do great things. Architecture is just one of many pathways where we can lead through change and technology. We looked at old blue prints, 3-D modeling, 3-D printing, building materials, using our original 1908 building (College Hall) for context in describing the process and all of the wonderful people that it takes to conceive of a project — We looked at interior design and site design as part of the overall architectural design of a campus. We emphasized, that although not all the children will decide to become architects, it is important to understand what architects do and how to understand how we think and how/what we do. We all need to learn from each other and work as a team to get things done. It was exciting to see the children work with the campus hand on when we had them work on an interactive puzzle of the campus. One of the students said: ” The campus is like a small city.” It was really fulfilling to see that she understood that the university is like a small city. It felt great to make an impact and promote architecture to young children.

Coincidentally, Architecture Week is held every April as part of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) nationwide celebration of our built environment, so that made the day even more special to me.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


New Campus Center at Springfield Technical Community College #UniversityArchitect #Rehabilitation #Community #College #Architecture #Transformation #ilmaBlog

All Photos: Chuck Choi

Combining historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and contemporary architecture, Springfield Technical Community College’s new Campus Center repurposes a 764-foot-long by 55-foot-wide warehouse building originally constructed between 1846 and 1864.

A major aspect of the Springfield, Massachusetts, University’s Campus Center is The Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons. The Campus Center and Student Learning Commons consolidate academic services and student life activities under one roof. Corten steel canopies along the building’s facade distinguish new entrances into each hub.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


What Will Higher Education Look Like 5, 10 or 20 Years From Now? Some Ways Colleges Can Reinvent Themselves #iLMA #eMBA #Innovation #Technology #Planning #Design #HigherEducation #HigherEd2030 #University #Architect

Introduction

Change is a natural and expected part of running a successful organization. Whether big or small, strategic pivots need to be carefully planned and well-timed. But, how do you know when your organization is ready to evolve to its next phase? Anyone that listens, watches, or reads the news knows about the rising cost of higher education and the increasing debt that education is putting on students and alumni and their families.

At a time when education is most important to keep up with increasing technological changes, institutions need to pivot or face imminent doom in an ever increasing competitive environment. Competition can come from startups or external factors in the higher education market therefore it is increasingly necessary for institutions of higher learning to take a different approach to their business operations.

This post will focus on:

  • Current Trends
  • Demographic Shifts
  • Future of Higher Education (and impacts on University Facilities & Management)
    • Changing Assumptions
    • Implications for the Physical Campus
    • Changing Trajectory
    • More Trends in Higher Education (Towards 2030)
  • Driving Technologies
  • External Forces

Current Trends

  • Online education[i] has become an increasingly accepted option, especially when “stackable” into degrees.
  • Competency-based education lowers costs and reduces completion time for students.
  • Income Share Agreements[ii] help students reduce the risk associated with student loans.
  • Online Program Manager organizations benefit both universities and nontraditional, working-adult students.
  • Enterprise training companies are filling the skills gap by working directly with employers.
  • Pathway programs facilitate increasing transnational education[iii], which serves as an additional revenue stream for universities.

Demographic Shifts

According to data from the National Clearinghouse and the Department of Education[iv]:

  • The Average Age of a College/University Student Hovers Around Twenty-Seven (Though That Is Decreasing as The Economy Heats Up)
  • 38% of Students Who Enrolled In 2011 Transferred Credits Between Different Institutions At Least Once Within Six Years.
  • 38% of Students Are Enrolled Part-Time.
  • 64% of Students Are Working Either Full-Time or Part-Time.
  • 28% of Students Have Children of Their Own or Care For Dependent Family Members.
  • 32% of Students Are from Low-Income Families.
  • The Secondary Education Experience Has an Increasingly High Variation, Resulting In Students Whose Preparation For College-Level Work Varies Greatly.

Future of Higher Education (and impacts on University Facilities & Management)

The future of higher education depends on innovation. 

University leaders who would risk dual transformation are required to exercise full commitment to multiple, potentially conflicting visions of the future. They undoubtedly confront skepticism, resistance, and inertia, which may sway them from pursuing overdue reforms.[v]

Change is upon us.

“All universities are very much struggling to answer the question of: What does [digitization[vi]] mean, and as technology rapidly changes, how can we leverage it?” . . . . Colleges afraid of asking that question do so at their own peril.”[vii]

James Soto Antony, the director of the higher-education program at Harvard’s graduate school of education.

Changing Assumptions

Until recently the need for a physical campus was based on several assumptions:

  • Physical Class Time Was Required
  • Meaningful Exchanges Occurred Face to Face
  • The Value of an Institution Was Tied to a Specific Geography
  • Books Were on Paper
  • An Undergraduate Degree Required Eight Semesters
  • Research Required Specialized Locations
  • Interactions Among Students and Faculty Were Synchronous

Implications for the Physical Campus

  • Learning – Course by course, pedagogy is being rethought to exploit the flexibility and placelessness of digital formats while maximizing the value of class time.
  • Libraries – Libraries are finding the need to provide more usable space for students and faculty.  Whether engaged in study, research or course projects, the campus community continues to migrate back to the library.
  • Offices – While the rest of North America has moved to mobile devices and shared workspaces, academic organizations tend to be locked into the private, fixed office arrangement of an earlier era – little changed from a time without web browsers and cell phones. 
  • Digital Visible – From an institutional perspective, many of the implications of digital transformation are difficult to see, lost in a thicket of business issues presenting themselves with increasing urgency. 

Changing Trajectory

University presidents and provosts are always faced with the choice of staying the course or modifying the trajectory of their institutions.  Due to failing business models, rapidly evolving digital competition and declining public support, the stakes are rising.  All should be asking how they should think about the campus built for the 21st century.[viii]  J. Michael Haggans[ix] makes the following recommendations:

  • Build no net additional square feet
  • Upgrade the best; get rid of the rest
  • Manage space and time; rethink capacity
  • Right-size the whole
  • Take sustainable action
  • Make campus matter

More Trends in Higher Education (Towards 2030)

  • The Rise of The Mega-University[x]
  • ; Public Private Partnerships (P3’s) Procurement Procedures Will Become More Prevalent
  • More Colleges Will Adopt Test-Optional Admissions
  • Social Mobility Will Matter More in College Rankings
  • Urban Colleges Will Expand[xi] — But Carefully
  • Financial Crunches Will Force More Colleges to Merge
  • The Traditional Textbook Will Be Hard to Find; Free and Open Textbooks
  • More Unbundling and Micro-Credentials
  • Continued Focus on Accelerating Mobile Apps
  • Re-Imagining Physical Campus Space in Response to New Teaching Delivery Methods
  • Transforming the Campus into A Strategic Asset with Technology
  • Education Facilities Become Environmental Innovators
  • Ethics and Inclusion: Designing for The AI Future We Want to Live In
  • Visibility (Transparency) And Connectedness
  • Sustainability from Multiple Perspectives
  • Better Customer Experiences with The Digital Supply Chain
  • Individualized Learning Design, Personalized Adaptive Learning
  • Stackable Learning Accreditation
  • Increased Personalization: More Competency-Based Education They’ll Allow Students to Master A Skill or Competency at Their Own Pace.
  • Adaptation to Workplace Needs They’ll Adapt Coursework to Meet Employer Needs for Workforce Expertise
  • Greater Affordability and Accessibility They’ll Position Educational Programs to Support Greater Availability.
  • More Hybrid Degrees[xii]
  • More Certificates and Badges, For Example: Micro-Certificates, Offer Shorter, More Compact Programs to Provide Needed Knowledge and Skills Fast[xiii]
  • Increased Sustainable Facilities – Environmental Issues Will Become Even More Important Due to Regulations and Social Awareness; Reduced Energy Costs, Water Conservation, Less Waste
  • Health & Wellness – Physical, Spiritual and Metal Wellbeing
  • Diversity and Inclusion Will Increase
  • Rise of The Micro-Campus[xiv] And Shared Campuses[xv]
  • E-Advising to Help Students Graduate
  • Evidence-Based Pedagogy
  • The Decline of The Lone-Eagle Teaching Approach (More Collaboration)
  • Optimized Class Time (70% Online, 30% Face to Face)
  • Easier Educational Transitions
  • Fewer Large Lecture Classes
  • Increased Competency-Based and Prior-Learning Credits (Credit for Moocs or From “Real World” Experience)[xvi]
  • Data-Driven Instruction
  • Aggressive Pursuit of New Revenue
  • Online and Low-Residency Degrees at Flagships
  • Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education[xvii]
  • The Architecture of The Residential Campus Will Evolve to Support the Future.
  • Spaces Will Be Upgraded to Try to Keep Up with Changes That Would Build In Heavy Online Usage.
  • Spaces Will Be Transformed and Likely Resemble Large Centralized, Integrated Laboratory Type Spaces. 
  • Living-Learning Spaces in Combination Will Grow, But On Some Campuses, Perhaps Not In The Traditional Way That We Have Thought About Living-Learning To Date.

Driving Technologies:

  • Emerging Technologies – Such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, And Artificial Intelligence – Will Eventually Shape What the Physical Campus Of The Future Will Look Like, But Not Replace It.[xviii]
  • Mobile Digital Transformation[xix]
  • Smart Buildings and Smart Cities[xx]
  • Internet of Things
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), Including Natural Language Processing
  • Automation (Maintenance and Transportation Vehicles, Instructors, What Else?)
  • Virtual Experience Labs, Including: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality Learning, And Robotic Telepresence 
  • More Technology Instruction and Curricula Will Feature Digital Tools and Media Even More Prominently
  • New Frontiers For E-Learning, For Example, Blurred Modalities (Expect Online and Traditional Face-To-Face Learning to Merge)[xxi]
  • Blending the Traditional; The Internet Will Play Bigger Role in Learning
  • Big Data: Colleges Will Hone Data Use to Improve Outcomes

External Forces:

  • [xxii]: Corporate Learning Is A Freshly Lucrative Market
  • Students and Families Will Focus More on College Return On Investment, Affordability And Student Loan Debt
  • [xxiii]
  • Greater Accountability; Schools will be more accountable to students and graduates
  • Labor Market Shifts and the Rise of Automation
  • Economic Shifts and Moves Toward Emerging Markets
  • Growing Disconnect Between Employer Demands and College Experience 
  • The Growth in Urbanization and A Shift Toward Cities 
  • Restricted Immigration Policies and Student Mobility
  • Lack of Supply but Growth in Demand
  • The Rise in Non-Traditional Students 
  • Dwindling Budgets for Institutions[xxiv]
  • Complex Thinking Required Will Seek to Be Vehicles of Societal Transformation, Preparing Students to Solve Complex Global Issues

Sources & References:


[i] Online education is a flexible instructional delivery system that encompasses any kind of learning that takes place via the Internet. The quantity of distance learning and online degrees in most disciplines is large and increasing rapidly.

[ii] An Income Share Agreement (or ISA) is a financial structure in which an individual or organization provides something of value (often a fixed amount of money) to a recipient who, in exchange, agrees to pay back a percentage of their income for a fixed number of years.

[iii] Transnational education (TNE) is education delivered in a country other than the country in which the awarding institution is based, i.e., students based in country Y studying for a degree from a university in country Z.

[iv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2019/3/changing-demographics-and-digital-transformation

[v]Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/design_thinking_for_higher_education

[vi] Digitization is the process of changing from analog to digital form.

[vii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019:  https://qz.com/1070119/the-future-of-the-university-is-in-the-air-and-in-the-cloud

[viii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: http://c21u.gatech.edu/blog/future-campus-digital-world

[ix] Michael Haggans is a Visiting Scholar in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota and Visiting Professor in the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Institute of Technology.  He is a licensed architect with a Masters of Architecture from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He has led architectural practices serving campuses in the US and Canada, and was University Architect for the University of Missouri System and University of Arizona.

[x] Article accessed on April 16, 2019:  https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/Trend19-MegaU-Main

[xi] Article accessed on April 16, 2019:  https://www.lincolninst.edu/sites/default/files/pubfiles/1285_wiewel_final.pdf

[xii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.fastcompany.com/3046299/this-is-the-future-of-college

[xiii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.govtech.com/education/higher-ed/Why-Micro-Credentials-Universities.html

[xiv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://global.arizona.edu/micro-campus

[xv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/global_learning/a-new-global-model-the-micro-campus

[xvi] Article accessed on April 16, 2019:  https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Future-Is-Now-15/140479

[xvii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019:  https://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/market_opportunities/looking-to-2040-anticipating-the-future-of-higher-education

[xviii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.eypae.com/publication/2017/future-college-campus

[xix] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/digital-transformation-quest-rethink-campus-operations

[xx] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://ilovemyarchitect.com/?s=smart+buildings

[xxi] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/04/college-online-degree-blended-learning/557642

[xxii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://qz.com/1191619/amazon-is-becoming-its-own-university

[xxiii] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.fastcompany.com/3029109/5-bold-predictions-for-the-future-of-higher-education

[xxiv] Article accessed on April 16, 2019: https://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/state-funding-a-race-to-the-bottom.aspx

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


What About Public Private Partnerships? #ilmaBlog #HigherEducation #P3 #PPP #University #Architect

Example of Stakeholder Team (Source: Servitas)

Background on Public Private Partnerships (P3’s):

Many institutions of higher education are facing mounting pressure on their mission to deliver high-quality, affordable education to students and perform world-class research. Reductions in public funding support and concerns about overall affordability present substantial near-term and longer-term budget challenges for many institutions.

Public institutions are predominantly affected, having been constrained by suspensions or reductions in state funding. State appropriations across the US grew by just 0.5% annually between 2005 and 2015. State funding has still not recovered to 2008 levels, the last year in which state funding decisions would not have been affected by the Great Recession.

(Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) — state appropriations revenue divided by total fall enrollment, 2005–15)

Public-private partnership models are continuing to proliferate as cash-strapped colleges and universities seek to replace or update aging and outdated infrastructure amid tight finances.

(Source: Proliferating Partnerships)

What is the P3 Delivery Model?

A public-private partnership, or P3, is long-term agreement between a public entity and a private industry team that is tasked with designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining a public facility. The past decade has seen a steady increase in the use of P3 structures, both inside and outside higher education. In 2016, something of a watershed year for P3, multiple high-profile projects came online in response to a variety of public needs, including a $1-billion-plus water infrastructure project servicing San Antonio, and a $300-million-plus renovation of the Denver International Airport’s Great Hall.

(Source: A Few Lessons About Public-Private Partnerships)

“Public” is a non-profit institutional or governmental entity that engages a “private” for-profit entity to pay for a particular project.

The “private” partner provides funding (and often expertise) to deliver (and often operate) the project used by the “public” entity to meet its purposes.

In return for its capital, the “private” entity gets a revenue flow from the asset it has paid for.

(Source: Should your University enter into a Public/Private Partnership – the Pro’s and Con’s)

The emergence of the P3 option is happening where it matters most: projects that would be otherwise unattainable under the traditional public-improvement delivery models. For instance, 10 years ago, only a handful of higher education P3 projects were up and running; today, we are approaching three dozen such projects.

The biggest challenge is, of course, the financing component, but P3 teams bring much more to the table than money — they give public entities access to expertise and innovation that can add significant value to projects at each phase of development.

(Source: A Few Lessons About Public-Private Partnerships)

Motivations for P3 transactions vary widely, but include:

  • Supplementing traditional debt instruments. These include private capital, using off balance sheet or alternative mechanisms.
  • Transfer of risk. Historically, universities have born all or most of the risk of facilities-related projects themselves. A P3 is a way to either transfer or at least share the risk.
  • Speed and efficiency. A P3 allows for a faster development process, and time to completion is generally shorter and on schedule. The sole focus of the private entity is to complete the project on budget and on time. University infrastructure tends to have competing priorities across all-campus facility needs.
  • Outsourcing provision of non-core assets. Outsourcing allows institutions to focus investment of internal resources and capabilities on those functions that are closer to the academic needs of its students.
  • Experience. Private partners often have much more experience and skills in a particular development area (e.g., facility architecture and infrastructure, student housing needs) and are able to better accommodate the needs of students, faculty, administrators, etc.
  • Planning and budgeting. Private partners offer experience and know-how in long-term maintenance planning and whole life cycle budgeting.

(Source: Public-private partnerships in higher education What is right for your institution?)

The four types of P3s:

  • Operating contract/management agreement. Short- to medium-term contract with private firm for operating services
  • Ground lease/facility lease. Long-term lease with private developer who commits to construct, operate and maintain the project
  • Availability payment concession. Long-term concession with private developer to construct, operate, maintain and finance the project in exchange for annual payments subject to abatement for nonperformance
  • Demand-risk concession. Long-term concession with private developer to construct, operate, maintain and finance the project in exchange for rights to collect revenues related to the project

Pro’s and Con’s of P3’s:

Since their emergence in student housing several years ago, P3s have become important strategies for higher education institutions because of the many benefits they offer, including:

  • Lower developer costs
  • Developer expertise
  • Operational expertise
  • Access to capital
  • Preservation of debt capacity
  • More favorable balance sheets and credit statements
  • Risk mitigation
  • Faster procurement and project delivery (It can typically take a university about 5 years to get a project built. With a P3, that process can be reduced to just 2 years. Additionally, P3s can save approximately 25% in costs compared to typical projects.)

Beyond the above, the indirect advantages of P3s in student housing are numerous, such as they:

  • Provide better housing for students
  • Expand campus capacity
  • Create high-quality facilities
  • Expand the tax base for both a city and county
  • Provide an economic boost to surrounding areas, which likely lead to private growth and other improvements

It is important to note that, while there are many benefits of P3s for higher education institutions, these agreements also have disadvantages that need to be considered, including:

  • High cost of capital
  • Reduced control for the university
  • Complexity of deals
  • Multi-party roles and responsibilities
  • Limitation on future university development

(Source: Student Housing A Hot Sector For Public-Private Partnerships)

A LOOK AHEAD

Where Are We Heading?

  • More political involvement and pressure to consider P3
  • Pre-development Risks – Many projects failing to close
  • Issues with Construction Pricing & Labor Shortages
  • An increasing number of developers are getting in the on-campus business; however, developers are being more strategic on which projects/procurements to respond to
  • Exploration of other sources of funds like tax credits, USDA, and opportunity zones
  • Shared governance continues to grow
  • Larger, more complex P3 projects including long term concessions, availability payment models, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Bundling of Procurements (food, housing (including faculty), academic buildings, hotel, energy, facility maintenance, etc.)

Further Reading:

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


Higher Education

Blog Posts Related to Higher Education

  1. Library of the Future – For Colleges & Universities
  2. Mansueto Library by JAHN
  3. Creative Arts Center at Brown University by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  4. What is a High Performance School?
  5. Architect’s Sketchbook – Montclair State University (Sketches by @FrankCunhaIII, 2017)
  6. 13 Examples of Green Architecture
  7. WELL Communities: Health & Wellness Lifestyle
  8. You Know LEED, But Do You Know WELL?
  9. The 2030 Challenge for Planning @Arch2030
  10. What is The 2030 Challenge? @Arch2030
  11. Smart Cities
  12. Top 20: Technology & Innovation Ideas For Architects

My Higher Education Projects

  1. New Computer Science Facility for College of Science & Mathematics
  2. School of Nursing & Graduate School
  3. New Research Facility, Montclair State University
  4. Conrad J. Schmitt Hall Renovation, Montclair State University
  5. Frank Sinatra Hall, Montclair State University
  6. Music School, Montclair State University
  7. Student Recreation Center, Montclair State University
  8. College Hall (In Progress)
  9. Conceptual Design – Adaptive Re-Use of Existing Cogeneration Plant
  10. Conceptual Design – Study Atrium
  11. Small Project – Successful Conversion (Tech Classrooms) Before & After
  12. New Center for Environmental Life Sciences
  13. Babbio Center, Stevens Institute of Technology

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook