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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Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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