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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Higher Education Facility Construction Costs Are Reasonable; Some Improvements Could Maximize Use of Campus Classroom Space, Report No. 06-31, March 2006
 
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  • Both the university and community college systems are building reasonably cost-effective facilities compared to national norms.  However, these costs continue to rise while Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funding, the primary state source of higher education funding, is predicted to decline after 2006-07.  Postsecondary institutions will need to develop long-term strategies to reduce construction costs, which should include adopting prototypical designs, implementing energy cost sharing, and maximizing existing facility use.
  • In general, the allocation of university and community college space is consistent with available national benchmarks and institutional missions.  Although a relatively small percentage of all space is used for classrooms, this allocation is consistent with national norms and institutional differences reflect the student populations served. 
  • Classrooms at some state universities and community colleges are underutilized.  Overall, only about half of all university classrooms and less than half of community college classrooms have classes scheduled in them throughout the week (Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM).  Classroom usage rates vary considerably by time of day, day of week, and institution.  Although some factors affecting underutilization may be outside the control of institutions, they can take steps to improve classroom utilization and delay the need to build additional classrooms.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

State University System
Florida College System
Educational Facilities
Board of Governors

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 17-04 The State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) Should Be Retained; Some Modifications Could Be Made,published in January 2017.
  • Report No. 09-25 More State Direction Could Increase the Utilization of Higher Education Classrooms,published in April 2009.
  • Report No. 06-30 State Higher Education Facility Planning Process Is Designed Reasonably Well; Current Formulas May Inaccurately Portray Projected Needs, published in March 2006.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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