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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Board of Regents finance committee approves progressed housing plans

(Screen capture from the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday May 26)

Dionte Berry
[email protected] 

The pre-development plans for the private public partnership (P3) housing revamp have been approved by the Board of Regents’ Finance Committee.

The Finance Committee had a special meeting on Thursday, May 26 to discuss how construction would begin. With them the committee had Senior Vice President of RISE LLC Development, Jeremy Doss as a representative from RISE, the University’s chosen partner. 

The first phase of the P3 project includes the construction of two new residential halls north of Hart Hall and a new dining hall near Springer Hall. Along with phase one Hart Hall, Winslow Dining Hall and Springer Hall will be razed. 

The revamp focuses on having more green spaces, space for community activities and retaining the residential student population.

“The overall goal of going into this was the recruitment and retention of our students, that is why we are doing this,” Vice President of Finances and Administrative Services, Jackie Dudley said. 

The two residential halls set north of Hart Hall will both have around 309 beds each and will have a mix between two and four bedroom suites, a common kitchen and community event rooms. 

(Screen capture from the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday May 26)

The new dining hall will have a maximum capacity of around 550 seats, and is set to have a multipurpose room and private dining space. The dining hall would also become home to auxiliary and housing services as well as a convenient store. 

“It’s not going to be a middle school cafeteria, it is designed to look like a food court, there will be these destination locations that are there that allows for venues to change as students preferences change without having to redesign the entire space,” Director of Auxiliary Services David Looney said. 

(Screen capture from the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday May 26)

Ground for phase one is set to be broken at the end of the Fall 2022 semester, and when students return there should be partitions redirecting returning students on where to park and what routes to take amidst construction. 

“What we plan to do is have a very soft start until campus is basically empty and exams are over and then we will go in and work through fencing, rearrangement and signage of parking and such so that when students come back in the Spring of 2023 semester, everything is set up, new directions are set up, so it’s a good time to start, just need to make sure we do not disrupt final exams,” Doss said. 

Amongst the pre-development plans, housing rates have not been set in place for the new dorm facilities, but Doss said the rates would not be exponentially larger than what students are already familiar with.

“The market study is going to show us that your students are used to paying for this type of living arrangement,” Doss said “We can’t say, ‘hey we feel like students will pay 25% more for this housing.’” 

Phase one of construction will also address what steps will be taken with Regents and R.H. White Residential Hall which are both set to be razed. 

With the Finance Committee unanimously agreeing on the pre-development plan, the plan will be brought to the rest of the Board of Regents at their spring quarterly meeting on June 3.

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