Our primary objective in master planning and space optimization is to translate the strategic plan and academic program into quantifiable and defensible space needs. A variety of stakeholders are consulted to ensure that all voices are heard and critical issues are addressed. Both quantitative and qualitative issues are considered. The focus is on maximizing existing space – before recommending new space – in order to meet the current and projected programmatic requirements of the institution.
Space programming involves the synthesizing of data pertaining to enrollment, staffing, and programs to arrive at optimal space needs, and then balancing these needs and stakeholder wish lists against available institutional resources. Space programs range from small renovations and new buildings to an entire campus. The result is a pre-architectural program of requirements that identifies square footage needs and potential spatial interrelationships, particularly those that encourage synergies.
Instructional Space Utilization Analyses
Classrooms and specialized instructional spaces frequently represent a specific area of institutional concern. An instructional space utilization study quantitatively and objectively examines space usage patterns by time of day and day of the week, as well as by the “fit” between course enrollment and instructional space capacity. This analysis assists in determining the appropriate array of instructional spaces required to support preferred teaching modalities. Room condition and amenity assessments may also be conducted at this time.
Space Inventories & Benchmarking
A space inventory catalogs existing space, displaying room number, type of use, and square footage for all campus spaces. Additionally, space is classified by a standardized, nationally recognized coding structure that permits comparison to others. Benchmarking surveys are used to evaluate space and planning options based on data from peer and aspirational institutions. Rickes Associates has the capability of hosting electronic surveys on its website to support these benchmarking efforts.
Housing & Student Life Studies
Co-curricular space and activities outside of the classroom are essential to student development. Rickes Associates can support these critical efforts through targeted campus housing and student life studies. Housing studies are conducted to assess the current and projected residential capacity of an institution, considering market conditions, student demographics, and housing type. Assessments can also be conducted of student centers and recreational facilities, as well as of campus student life, in general. This may include a review of services provided as well as the facilities necessary to accommodate them.
Strategic Program Alignment Analysis
A Strategic Program Alignment Analysis serves as a performance indicator for colleges and universities assessing the appropriateness of their current programs vis-à-vis the area labor market. This service helps suggest potential new programs, as well as enhancements, adjustments, or sunsetting options for existing programs. When institutions can better align their academic programs with area labor market demands, they equip their graduates with the necessary skills to succeed ensure that their programs have appropriate space in which to function optimally.