Florida Institute of Technology hired our firm to complete a feasibility study related to renovating the current Quad residence halls including identifying the amenities that would make these buildings more attractive to incoming and returning students and their parents as well as steps Florida Tech could take to enhance the “freshmen experience” in this living area. In addition, the University planned to increase enrollment and wanted the ability to house at least 50% of the undergraduate population. To do so, in addition to possibly renovating the Quad residence halls, the University also planned to build approximately 3,000 new beds on South campus.
Porter’s scope of work for this project also included conducting qualitative market research related to the current campus dining program as it pertained to the overall experience of living on campus. The University’s campus is moving to the south and future development is expected in this area so a key part of this study was to determine what types of foodservice facilities and services should be available to students on South campus during the week and on weekends. Our work included the development of two separate and extensive financial scenarios outlining the revenue and expense implications related to the University offering three separate dining venues versus consolidating all dining venues in a centralized location on campus.
Ultimately, we recommended that the University construct a University Center with centralized dining closer to the south academic core of campus because the existing Student Union was dated and undersized and no longer central to campus.
While campus administrators were intrigued by this recommendation, financial realities prohibited them from pursuing this so our team recommended that the University build a contemporary dining venue on South campus to serve all residential students and other community members throughout the day and evening and to serve the 3,000 resident students who will live on South campus. This venue would also include a food court as well as much needed banquet space. Our team also recommended changes to the existing foodservice venues to reduce costs and improve customer service. We also recommended that the University adopt more student-friendly meal plans. Our design studio was hired to serve as the foodservice consultant on the South campus dining project.