In 2006, Colorado State University at Pueblo embarked on an ambitious campus-wide effort to increase sophomore retention and new student enrollment, particularly out-of-state students. The many initiatives included re-introduction of a football program after several decades. Notably, the University’s only residence hall, built in 1969 with 500 beds, was under-subscribed and showing its age. CSU-Pueblo engaged The Scion Group to develop a campus housing master plan with the goal of increasing revenue and supporting enrollment and retention outcomes. Scion’s work included:
- Interviews with key administration members
- Focus group sessions with students and parents
- An online survey of students
- Review of the existing on-campus facilities
- Investigation of the off-campus rental market
- Comparison of on-campus programs on peer campuses
- Financial analysis of existing and recommended campus housing inventory
Scion’s Campus Housing Master Plan included a recommendation to replace the existing residence hall with new student housing with more private units. Scion also recommended phased development using a public-private partnership for ownership and finance. The plan further outlined potential changes to residency policies and the inclusion of significant living-learning community support space within the new facilities.
Following Scion’s recommendations, CSU-Pueblo selected EdR in 2008 to lead the new development, which in turn engaged Scion to confirm rental rates and demand for the project in order to inform its planning and achieve financing.
When the first 253-bed phase of new housing opened in Fall 2009, demand was so high that CSU-Pueblo and EdR accelerated development of the second and third phases to Fall 2010, when an additional 500-beds opened to 94% occupancy. Due to now-high demand for on-campus housing, a wing of the 1969 residence hall remains open. The three new facilities achieved LEED Gold certification and won numerous architectural and design awards. The campus housing initiative helped the University increase its enrollment by 20% from 2007 to 2011.