Skidmore College, Sussman Village Housing

Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY
Environmental Planning and Permitting, Landscape Architecture, Site Civil Engineering
Education and Institution

Project Overview

From its early years as a School of Arts for women, to a robust liberal arts campus, Skidmore College has undergone a number of transformations. Today, the campus is embracing a leadership position in sustainable, green campus design.

The LA Group collaborated with the architect and Skidmore to develop Sussman Village, a modern community for students. This development site was the location of the Scribner Village Housing, constructed as short-term accommodations in the 1960’s that outlived their useful life.

 In addition to adding 178 beds for a total of 466, the quality of buildings, pedestrian and vehicular access, and the site’s character were significantly improved. The LA Group investigated stormwater management options that led to a reduction in impervious area from the existing condition, used infiltration swales, porous pavement, and open swales for a successful program for regulatory compliance. This is a key element of the Low Impact Design that The LA Group led through an intensive SEQRA and local approval process in short order. As a result, the approvals were completed promptly and construction started ahead of schedule.

Project Highlights

  • Geothermal heating and cooling.
  • Niche hillside communities for college students.
  • Enhanced pedestrian and vehicular access.


Establishing strong pedestrian connections to the main campus.


Negotiating significant grade changes for not only the building placement, but both the pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, with techniques such as building entry bridges.


Sustainable design principles followed throughout the project’s planning and construction.