Public-Private Partnership has redefined residential life at UK

02/02/2015 01:47 PM

LEXINGTON — With a nod from Gov. Steve Beshear in his state of the commonwealth address Public Private Partnerships, also known as P3, will likely be one of the main issues during the legislative session — especially related to transportation projects like the Brent Spence Bridge.

However, public-private partnerships are currently being used by the University of Kentucky to transfer its campus of aging dorms into new attractive state of the art residential halls which are keeping many of students living on campus.

Three years ago, UK teamed up with Education Realty Trust, a Memphis-based real estate company, to construct, maintain and manage 12 new residential buildings on the campus.

To date, seven have been completed with three more scheduled to open in fall of 2015 and two in the fall of 2016.

“They bring in 100 percent equity. So there’s no debt attached to these facilities,” said Eric Monday, UK Executive Vice-President, Finance and Administration. “We grant them a lease of the land and then they build the property and it comes back to the institution and then they operate that property for a long term lease.”

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says that the partnership has been a win-win situation for the university and its students.

“We engaged a publicly traded firm that had built over 40,000 beds,” Capilouto said. “This is a competency that they have which is higher than ours and we hit the market at a time where we’ve got a very favorable agreement financially with this group, and they wanted to be part of the UK brand.”

It’s not unusual for a university to have a P3 partnership for a residence hall or two, but it is unique that UK is looking to have all of its housing operated in this manner.

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About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@charter.com.

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