Student Centers are the place you show off on a campus tours, the spot where students can go to study, socialize, meet, and get the resources they need. According to an EAB Facilities Forum study, campus environment is the number one reason students choose one institution over another, so it makes sense that more universities are investing in new services and amenities for these prominent campus hubs. So how can you design a space that’s innovative and reflective of your university’s mission, but also functional and adaptable enough to stand up to the rapid pace of change in higher education? Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.
Whether it’s for a student org meeting, a group project, or a campus event, meeting rooms are always in high demand. But it can be challenging to predict what room sizes will be most requested and no one wants to waste the square footage for a huge presentation room that will sit empty 90% of the day.
Moveable walls allow you to quickly divide up a large room space in just minutes with walls mounted onto a floor rail system. Host a large group presentation in an open room, then easily slide out the walls for breakout sessions. Offer the room as multiple small study spaces during the day and slide all the walls to one side for an event in the evening. Practically speaking, this kind of flexibility allows you to utilize one space in a multitude of ways to improve space utilization. But it also creates a fun and engaging collaboration environment for students and faculty.
Moveable walls can be equipped with almost anything you can think of – screens, whiteboards, flip-down tables, storage, cubbies for extra seating – to offer the amenities students are looking for.
On large campuses where students may not have time to stop back at their dorm or housing between classes and activities or commuter schools where students don’t have another place to store belongings, offering Day-Use Lockers is a great way to offer students a convenient spot to drop gym bags, books, a change of clothes for an event, or even to charge a laptop while they run to get lunch. Designed to complement the overall look and feel of your space, Day-Use Lockers can be integrated into a wall, used to create a stand-alone wall partition, or used as the basis of a storage island that has workspace on top.
Like many modern offices, campuses are breaking from the traditional rows of desks and offering a wide variety of different work environments to accommodate different preferences and types of work. While collaborative environments have become increasingly popular in student center design, it’s still important to include plenty of quiet personal study space where students can get into a deeply focused mindset and nooks where they can get a moment of respite from a stressful day.
Although technology integration is an important consideration, be sure you can easily change out equipment as technology evolves over time. And keep in mind, whiteboards are often just as desirable as a shareable screen in many meeting spaces.
For nearly 50 years, Spacesaver has been a trusted partner in helping higher education architects, administrators, and others understand the complexities involved in planning and designing effective learning spaces. Our network of local distributors offers space planning services, product installation, and ongoing service and maintenance by factory-certified technicians.