In 2004 B&ID was retained by Jackson State University to develop a business plan for the new Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center that would serve as a guide and management tool for the Center’s staff. It was imperative that the Center meet its financial targets in order for the university to pursue other obligations. Our scope of work included: design consulting; development of organizational, staffing and marketing plans; a financial model; and identification of revenue-generating options within the building. We also defined the strategic objectives for the Center with input from administrators, students, faculty, and staff. They are: to serve as a site for educational programming and events that encourage personal growth; to provide students with a recreational facility to mitigate stress through recreation and wellness education; to develop leadership and professional development skills through sports; and to create a facility to serve as the gateway to the university’s campus. The 91,883 SF, $13.5 million Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center opened in 2006 and received a NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facility award in 2007.
In 2014 the university re-engaged us, in collaboration with CENTERS, LLC, to develop an updated market analysis and business plan along with a capital improvement plan for the Center. The building had operated for over eight years under the business plan we had prepared in 2005, and the university was considering investing in high-impact capital improvements to enhance the student experience, improve the building’s ability to generate revenue, and ensure the facility’s safety and security. The updated plan called for us to specifically address the merits of each capital improvement under consideration and place them in priority order based on financial and non-financial factors. Our work began with a visioning session with university administrators to ensure the project goals were aligned with those of the institution. An off-campus market analysis also was performed, along with a web-based survey, cost/benefit analysis of capital improvement needs, and business plan update. After confirming the operating paradigm and mission with the department, we identified the high-impact capital improvements, updated the financial metrics, developed organizational and staffing plans, and developed marketing and membership plans. The comprehensive plan we presented to the university for each capital improvement was comprised of case statements, a description of market context and opportunities, and an outline of how the facility could be operated with respect to revenue-generating strategies, types of programs, service quality, and membership benefits. Additionally, financial and risk mitigation plans were developed for each concept, along with a marketing plan that included organizational and staffing scenarios.