Building cost escalation has forced up the price of new campus housing to the point that, under conventional planning and construction methods, dormitory space can cost as much as $10,000 or more per bed. Given such costs, many institutions find it difficult if not impossible to finance new housing without raising student rental charges to prohibitive levels. In response, a number of institutions have sought ways to provide housing at substantially lower cost. One solution is the so-called "turnkey" approach, in which a developer plans, designs, and builds new housing to meet the institution's specifications at a predetermined, fixed cost. This article describes the successful application of the turnkey technique at three institutions--the Universities of Rhode Island, Vermont, and Delaware.
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