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Texas Woman’s University (TWU) has selected Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, a leading developer and operator of infrastructure projects for the college and university market, to develop a new student housing community for the university as part of a public-private partnership (P3). Opening in Fall 2019, the sophomore village will house 875 students and contain classroom, fitness, exploratory learning and recreation space. Texas-based Hill & Wilkinson will lead the project’s design/build team, in collaboration with project architect Stantec.
Located on TWU’s campus in Denton, Texas, the Residential Village Project will include three 4- and 5-story Georgian buildings featuring pod-style living quarters with small-scale communal baths with private bathroom and shower stalls. The project will incorporate residential amenities such as lounge spaces, study areas and community gathering places focused on the sophomore experience.
“In recent years, TWU has used hotels and leased apartments off campus to accommodate our students,” said Monica Mendez-Grant, TWU vice president for student life. “This new Residential Village Project will bring those students back to campus and create an environment for our sophomore students that does not exist today.”
“We’re excited to work with Texas Woman’s University in implementing their vision to create a dedicated second-year residential community that keeps students on campus,” said Bob Shepko, president of Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions. “Our experience has shown that a vibrant on-campus living experience directly enhances both the social and academic success of students and this new development will factor significantly in delivering that experience at TWU.”
The development also will include approximately 30,000 square feet of residential dining space to serve all of TWU’s on-campus student population, as well as Residence Life offices. Ricca Design Studios will lead the culinary design efforts.
Structured as a public-private partnership, Collegiate Housing Foundation, a national non-profit entity, will serve as the residential facility owner through the issuance of project-based, tax exempt debt financing. Project negotiations and planning will continue with Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions in the coming months as the project concept is advanced and finalized. TWU expects to recommend the final project scope to the TWU Board of Regents in November and construction is anticipated to commence in February of 2018 in preparation for August 2019 occupancy.
“Our students have been vocal about their desire to live on campus in a community focused environment,” said TWU Chancellor Carine M. Feyten. “This new student housing accommodates their wishes, while also adhering to our campus esthetic and style, and providing plenty of green space for our students.”
TWU’s first major housing development since the opening of the Lowry Woods Community in 2005, the Residential Village Project will be located east of Bell Avenue with the dining facility located directly north of TWU’s athletic facility, Pioneer Hall, and the housing facilities located on the site of the existing soccer field. The soccer field will be relocated as part of the project.
On November 15, 2016, TWU publicly issued a request for proposals, or RFP. TWU and its development advisor, Brailsford & Dunlavey, structured the RFP to identify private developers with the best qualifications, experience, financial capacity and proven track records of executing similar projects. TWU received eight proposals from nationally-recognized firms and earlier this year the Balfour Beatty team submitted a final proposal and was subsequently selected as the preferred development partner.
“We were impressed with the level of interest from the development community and the quality of proposals and teams that we interviewed during the process,” said B.J. Crain, interim vice president for finance and administration. “The Balfour Beatty team provided a strong proposal and continued to impress the selection committee throughout the course of the process. We look forward to partnering with them to make this exciting project a reality for the TWU community.”