InterFace On-Campus: Define Roles Early, Prepare Replacement Cycle

by Scott Reid

Orlando, Fla. — A November 6 panel at the second annual InterFace OnCampus Housing Conference corralled housing and finance leaders into one room to describe their experience working with a developer.

Corey King, interim vice president for student affairs at Florida Atlantic University, shared some lessons learned from the university’s evolving partnership with some of the Capstone companies, which King said has become a valued partnership. “You need to have the right people at the table,” he said. “The right university people — not the right private people. For us, control was not clearly defined in the beginning, and people struggled with who controlled what. I would advise having more discussions up front. Have impacted players at the table, and clearly define the roles of the people in the room.”

When asked, what is the future of P3s? Tom Trubiana, executive vice president and chief investment officer, volunteered that EdR currently has approximately 14 active RFPs and RFQs and receives two or three requests for information per week. “The financial pressures on universities are so great,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and it’s the most activity I’ve ever seen.”

The University of Kentucky (UK) chose EdR to replace its on-campus housing. Moderator Linda Anderson of Anderson Strickler asked what is the most unique aspect of the UK project:“We’re doing it all, not just one or two projects,” said Eric Monday, executive vice president, finance and education, for the University of Kentucky. Monday also pointed out how the university was ensuring the same problems it faces today aren’t repeated in 25 years. “We understand the replacement cycle. We have defined it. We have figured out how much cash we would need to set aside. We start at $200 a bed. Our partner has the ultimate responsibility for keeping that facility in first-class shape. Now, we have a schedule for that in our agreement.”

Check the November/December issue for a Q&A with Monday about the overhaul of housing at UK.

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