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Super Dorms

Super Dorms
Residence hall amenities are a bigger draw than ever. For MIT it’s Wi-Fi; for BC, tech-free contemplative space. (And for Goldilocks University, it's a quiet space but one where you can still watch Hulu if you want.)
250 guests at 2nd Annual Boston Student Housing Summit
Yesterday, 250 joined us for Bisnow’s 2nd Annual Boston Student Housing Summit. Our panel: BU executive director of housing and dining Marc Robillard, MIT senior associate dean for student life Henry Humphrey s, Campus Apartments investments VP Mark Schundler, Lincoln Property Co SVP John Cappellano, Suffolk Construction COO Angus Leary, Northeastern University associate dean Bob Jose, CBT Architects principal Christopher Hill and BC director of residential life George Arey. CohnReznick VP Drew Julian served as moderator.
Reznick (CohnDebut) MBOS
MIT senior associate dean for student life Henry Humphreys
At the Institute, quality housing that meets student preferences helps emphasize the value of a residentially-based education versus studying online, Henry says. So, when developing housing projects—like several planned renovations of existing buildingsMIT includes students in the process. Last summer, they were on the committee working on a conceptual design for the overhaul of the 350-bed East Campus residence hall. Engaging students in all types of Institute decisions and projects is an MIT value; they’re innovative entrepreneurs, says Henry.
Bisnow (PropManage)
BU executive director of housing and dining Marc Robillard
BU generates $120M/year in revenue from housing and $60M from dining. “Like any good school, we put it all to good use,” Marc said. The university houses 70% of its undergrads in 12 buildings, 30% in 150 buildings and is planning to build more housing in the next 10 years. For graduate students, who tend to scatter to meet their varied needs, BU opened a 208-bed residence near its medical center this fall with rental rates that compete with off-campus housing. In land-starved Boston, Marc tells us, building new dorms usually means going high-rise and commandeering a BU parking lot.
BC director of residential life George Arey.
In contrast BC, which eventually hopes to house all of its undergrads (numbering 9,060), won't build tall. It's focused on smaller six-story buildings with lots of green space and linked courtyards that help create more tight-knit communities. Developments, whether renovations or new construction, have a college gothic design for uniformity, social space in residence halls for community building, and space for solitude and reflection. George says that BC kids want light, airy spaces without technology and soundproof rooms where they can play music to relax.
CBT Architects principal Christopher Hill
Millennials gravitate to group activities, so CBT (an event sponsor) has designed residence halls with “super suites.” This is housing for 25 students who share common space, says Christopher. The suites give students what they want and help schools save money; each student requires only about 310 SF versus 335 SF for more common smaller, amenity-packed suites. Christopher says that each space should have a clearly identified use; after all, multi-purpose rooms are "multi-dysfunctional" rooms. Study space should be distributed throughout the dorm, including impromptu study areas in extra wide corridors. CBT-designed residence halls are under construction at Miami University of Ohio and Dean College.
CohnReznick vp Drew Julian
A shout out to sponsor CohnReznick, which sent us Drew as a moderator. The company’s 2,000-plus people provide tax, accounting and advisory services to an array of industries, from 24 offices in the US, one in the Cayman Islands, and another in Chennai. More event coverage to come tomorrow.