US university approves student housing P3

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The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees has approved the development of new student accommodation on the university's campus in Dartmouth through a public-private partnership, with an estimated total investment of US$133.9 million.

The 267,500 square foot housing development will serve 1,210 first-year students, replacing four residence halls that opened in 1976. It will feature general academic classrooms, a mixture of multimedia and study lounges throughout the facility, wireless internet, two large student lounges with demonstration kitchens, multimedia equipment, and recreation space. The north portion will have “maker spaces” to encourage collaborative work, while the south section will have music practice rooms and two computer learning commons.

The selected private partner is EdR, a real estate investment trust that specialises in student housing. The firm will develop, finance and maintain the accommodation, financing the project through student rent and maintaining and operating the new residence halls once they are open. The university will continue to manage all student life activity.

Construction is scheduled to commence in November, with the accommodation to open in fall 2020.

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