Higher education campuses are a microcosm of our society. As such, they’re increasingly diverse—socially, economically, demographically, and culturally. But do today’s campus space standards truly align with commitments to diversity and inclusion?
Our education planning team worked with Montgomery College to research best practices across the US and develop policy and space planning guidelines for restrooms and locker facilities for transgender people, lactation rooms for nursing mothers, and serenity spaces for people engaging in meditation, reflection, and contemplation.
Surprisingly, we discovered that, for the most part, these best practices didn’t exist. Our research, led by consultant Dr. Marcia Harrington of Inquiry2Solutions, caused us to expand our study and evaluate policies for embracing inclusion that would inform space standards and enrich the dialog.
Our planning guidelines are organized into three implementation scenarios: adaptive reuse, major renovation, and new construction. The guidelines provide suggestions for layouts as well as how each space type should be distributed campus-wide. We also provided cost estimates for the various scenarios, to help the College budget for the changes.
With this study, Montgomery College has helped establish an important benchmark in this emerging area of campus planning.