St. Petersburg Times: “What construction slump? USF is booming”

One of the key findings from PSMJ’s 2010 AEC Firm U.S. Market Sector Forecast was that the higher education market would likely be off a bit, but still remain relatively healthy overall. Here’s some news from South Florida about one school that is keeping the capital construction program alive:

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Construction is booming at the University of South Florida. Four projects will add nearly 475,000 square feet to the campus, about as much space as in a 35-story skyscraper. So how can USF afford $179 million in construction during a recession? Most is being paid for with state public education capital outlay funds, utility tax revenue budgeted years ago specifically for construction. Contractors are hungry, so “we really get to stretch the dollar,” provost Ralph Wilcox said. And USF needs the space, administrators say. They cite a state analysis projecting that in 2012 USF will rank last among Florida public universities for having enough classrooms, teaching labs and especially research labs.

Note the reference to “hungry” contractors, which is helping the school stretch its dollars. Could be a trend.

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