$88 million for 113,000 square feet, home for 283 students? Can that really be right? That’s almost $780 per square foot — over $300,000 per student! Auburn University in Alabama is just finishing a 635,000-square-foot project called “The Village” that will house 1,700 students. The cost is $118 million — about $185 per square foot, or $70,000 per student.  

Construction costs more in New Jersey than in Alabama, but not four times as much. Surely Princeton didn’t spend that much money on this project, to house that small a number of students. Did it?

Editor’s note: The University’s consolidated financial statement for the year ending June 30, 2008, reports $88 million as the authorized cost of the Butler College construction project.

Will French ’90