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Sectors

Higher Education

We work directly with institutions, architects, and engineers to build the campuses of the future

CCS has completed over 1000 Higher Education projects nationally and internationally, spanning infrastructure and landscaping, new residential housing, lab facilities, medical training facilities, power plants, sporting facilities and arenas, parking structures, and associated systems.

We have teamed with facilities departments within higher learning institutions on their master plans and capital improvements, encompassing new student unions and sports complexes, laboratory buildings, and campus infrastructure. We support the institutions’ in-house teams with technical expertise and functions while assembling the right team for design and construction. We’re experts in validating the design and budget forecasting. We help universities get the most out of their investment dollars while ensuring projects stay on track to be operational on day one. Over the course of this work, CCS keeps stakeholders and the public informed to demonstrate both ongoing and long-term value.

Highlights

  • Over 750 higher education projects of all types and sizes nationwide are worth in excess of $15 billion

  • 50 Owner's Representation projects ranging from $2 million to $80 million in construction value

Our process

Certificate, Checkmark, Done, Check

Expertise and optimization

CCS can support the facilities departments at educational institutions with technical expertise and in assembling the right project team. We have worked on every aspect of higher education including student unions, classrooms, labs, sports venues, infrastructure, campus power infrastructure, theaters, and public spaces.

We facilitate construction management and general contractor selection, identify the right subcontractors and consultants, utilizing deep knowledge of the local market, bringing our own team of knowledgeable experts to every facet of the design and construction process.

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Design and budget validation

Beginning with pre-design, CCS ensures that design for higher education projects is future-proofed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s students. Our collaborative method includes feasibility studies, design evaluation, review, construction management selection, and accurate total project budgeting.

We can assist internal teams with budget estimates and advise stakeholders on cost and constructability. We help determine the best method of project delivery, drawing on our deep familiarity with the costs, risks, timeline, and contractual aspects of the procurement process.

Medal, Prize, Reward

Public/Private Leadership

Public-private partnerships, or P3, have also become popular in Higher Ed with public entities contracting private developers to lead the designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining of facilities. CCS is a key member of P3 teams, giving institutions access to expertise and innovation that can add significant value to projects at each phase of development.

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Project phasing

Colleges and universities must continue operations during capital projects, so project phasing is crucial in new construction, expansions, or adaptive-reuse projects. The CCS difference is our upfront planning to minimize change orders.

Colleges and universities must continue operations during capital projects, so project phasing is crucial in new construction, expansions, or adaptive-reuse projects. The CCS difference is our upfront planning to minimize change orders. And CCS can create an operational plan to address shortages or delays in the availability of labor or materials. Furthermore, we have experts in the latest methodologies including LEAN and Agile we can apply to optimize resources and maximize value throughout the process.

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Maximizing value

CCS shepherds higher education projects from beginning to end. We validate estimates against contractor costs. We value engineers throughout the design and construction process to give universities and colleges the most for their dollar. In some cases, this may include exploring new options for materials and finishes that would enhance improve user experience, life cycle costs, and long-term value.

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Information sharing

We’re expert communicators, too. CCS helps clients manage sustainability requirements and ensure they’re getting value from their architect, engineer, and construction management team. We have experts with the formal certifications, including LEED and Energy Star, required to navigate institutional requirements.

CCS rebalances information sharing during design and construction and manages monthly reporting. CCS can handle regular reporting from the field for board review while keeping donors in the loop.

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Public engagement

Higher education projects are high profile with a diverse range of stakeholders — the administration, board of directors, department heads, students, faculty/staff, and the community at large, in addition to government agencies. CCS can manage engagement and information sharing amongst parties throughout the process.
We can present school projects to the public and media and report on progress to the appropriate stakeholders along the way. We perform necessary due diligence for private/public joint ventures on education projects.

CCS is committed to staying current on all the developments and dialogues that are affecting the higher ed sector. This is critical so that we raise any issues that may affect a project’s design or cost in a timely manner so that both the Owner & Architect/Engineering teams are able to effectively respond.

Higher Education sector background & challenges

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  • Many higher education institutions are embracing technologically-driven change and remote learning more dramatically and much earlier than many anticipated. With remote technology and lower-cost community colleges in the mix, colleges and universities are promoting greater value for their classroom and campus experience. For many, the answer has been to invest in the culture of learning. This can mean building new facilities that combine uses from libraries that are student centers to science buildings with communal spaces. The concept is to bring students and faculty together informally to stimulate collaboration and make the on-campus experience essential.

    Alongside these culture-enhancing spaces, institutions are transitioning from lecture halls to team-based and collaborative learning spaces which are flexible and technology-enabled to allow for various sizes of teams. Institutions are also providing for social distancing, meaning additional classroom space, touchless operations, robust ventilation as well as additional security features in campus buildings.

    Wellness and sustainability are driving new building designs and upgrades, with many schools pledging to reduce their carbon footprint across the board. They are incorporating even more natural light and ventilation in learning and living spaces and more efficient heating and cooling, lighting, even the use of renewables that can reduce their operational budgets.

Many higher education institutions are embracing technologically-driven change and remote learning more dramatically and much earlier than many anticipated. With remote technology and lower-cost community colleges in the mix, colleges and universities are promoting greater value for their classroom and campus experience. For many, the answer has been to invest in the culture of learning. This can mean building new facilities that combine uses from libraries that are student centers to science buildings with communal spaces. The concept is to bring students and faculty together informally to stimulate collaboration and make the on-campus experience essential.

Alongside these culture-enhancing spaces, institutions are transitioning from lecture halls to team-based and collaborative learning spaces which are flexible and technology-enabled to allow for various sizes of teams. Institutions are also providing for social distancing, meaning additional classroom space, touchless operations, robust ventilation as well as additional security features in campus buildings.

Wellness and sustainability are driving new building designs and upgrades, with many schools pledging to reduce their carbon footprint across the board. They are incorporating even more natural light and ventilation in learning and living spaces and more efficient heating and cooling, lighting, even the use of renewables that can reduce their operational budgets.

Client Feedback

  • The services rendered by CCS proved to be invaluable to the JJC facilities and construction team. CCS was our clear choice. We needed the assistance of a professional to assist with the budget process from the programming phase through final construction documents. for this service. Upon bidding completion of almost $30 million worth of construction packages, the final result was a net difference of approximately 1% between your estimates and the awarded contracts. This exceeded our expectations. Working with CCS was a pleasure.

    Rick A. Lyman, FMP Manager of Construction and Facility Planning

    Joliet Junior College