Fort Valley State University is a public land-grant institution (one of only two in the state) and historically black university located in central Georgia. The university has experienced a period of significant capital underinvestment in its buildings and as a result, many of their buildings have significant deferred maintenance issues. Additionally, the pattern of recent campus development has been expansionary, with the consequence that activity on campus is highly dispersed and disconnected.
The capital investment strategy serves to prioritize renovation reinvestment, to establish a landscape framework to organize and reconnect the campus, and to centralize infrastructure so as to combat deferred maintenance and provide long-term operational savings. Particular emphasis was placed on the restoration of and refocusing of activity around the university’s historic quad. Given limited funds and a space utilization analysis showing significant additional capacity, we also proposed the strategic demolition of buildings whose deferred maintenance backlogs would eat up funds that could be better used elsewhere.
The proposed investments were motivated by a series of principles that can be used as evaluatory criteria when considering future opportunities: restoring the campus’ historic identity, optimizing existing assets, concentrating academic activity, and stitching the campus together. The bold and frugal moves we proposed aim to provide students who may not otherwise have an opportunity to pursue their dreams with a physical environment that reflects the spirit and legacy of the university.