Monday, May 7, 2012

New York Times: Boise State Official on Perils of Private Student Housing

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 2:52 PM

As the New York Times reported in January, cash-strapped American schools are considering partnerships with the private sector to build new housing. Public colleges have found that private ownership and construction of dorms alleviates housing needs more quickly, but raises concerns about the long-term effects of sourcing out projects.

Boise State University manages all the student housing on its campus, including the brand new Lincoln Street facilities, which house 360 beds.

The University of California, Irvine, Portland State and Montclair State in New Jersey have either considered deals or are considering such partnerships. At Montclair, the school opened a 2,000-bed complex—the largest in the state.

Boise State's James Maguire, the associate vice president for Planning and Facilities was quoted in the Times article after the college considered a private equity deal for a 900-bed dorm with American Campus Communities, a private housing offerer.

"Ultimately, the university decided to finance a smaller, 350-bed dorm on its own with municipal bonds," wrote Times reporter Ronda Kaysen.

However, instead of contracting with a private company, a new plan would cater to a student lifestyle without bearing the Boise State name. That private development project irked a potential neighbor back in April.

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