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Fairfield University


Fairfield University Space Planning

Rickes Associates created a space program to support the growing School of Business by providing innovative classrooms and spaces to encourage collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and the community.

Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business (DSB) enrolls nearly one-third of the University’s undergraduate students, and predicts a 30 percent increase to 1,800 students over the next decade.

The DSB is housed in a building that once served as an Executive Education center on the edge of campus. Fairfield is considering options for the future location of the DSB, including renovations to the existing building or a new facility. Rickes Associates (RA) was tasked with developing a program to identify current and future space needs, regardless of chosen location.

RA engaged the DSB community with a kick-off meeting and a series of interviews with key administrators and stakeholders. An instructional space needs analysis was conducted to determine classroom and specialized instructional space needs. The qualitative and quantitative data, along with mutually agreed upon space planning guidelines and benchmarks, were used to develop a space program to meet enrollment and personnel growth and to create a more interactive and dynamic physical environment. The DSB also plans to increase the presence of the Entrepreneurship Center and Career Services to connect the business community with its students. A core program of 30,800 ASF was suggested, and a separate “under consideration” list of spaces was proposed to further enhance the student experience and accommodate the DSB’s space needs beyond the study’s enrollment planning horizon.