BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University and RISE: A Real Estate Company (RISE) signed final paperwork this week required for a multiphase, $191 million housing project that will replace seven residence halls.
“This is the largest capital project in Appalachian’s history, and we are looking forward to getting the first phase underway,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “It is an important step in our work to ensure we have an appropriate physical infrastructure to support our students, faculty and staff for years to come.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to work with Appalachian,” RISE President Greg Blais said Thursday at the signing with Everts. “We look forward to the ultimate value the project will have for Appalachian students for generations to come.”
Through a public-private partnership, known as a P3, Appalachian will replace nearly 1,800 beds — and add 300–400 more — while also adding better, more efficient parking. The development of the entire project is planned in three phases, with completion dates of fall 2020, fall 2021 and fall 2022.
The university selected RISE to develop the on-campus housing through a competitive procurement process in 2018.
“Under this plan, we will lease the rooms from the developer, but I want to emphasize we will operate the halls like our existing residences — with residence advisors, housekeepers and room assignments handled by University Housing,” Everts said.
“We will build efficient buildings, and, at the end of the lease period, ownership of the properties reverts back to the university. University Housing is in outstanding financial shape, and this project will allow us to maintain that strong financial position.”
In phase one, RISE will construct two residence halls on what is now the Stadium Parking Lot, totaling approximately 900 beds. Both halls are expected to open to students in fall 2020. The 475-space parking deck, being constructed at the site of the former Winkler Hall, should be open by this fall. Cost of phase one is approximately $90 million — $61.68 million for Building 100 and the parking deck, which are funded through the P3 financing, and $28 million for Building 200, which is funded from the proceeds of a 2016 bond that was going to be used for constructing a replacement for Winkler Hall.
The ground lease signed this week between Appalachian and asset manager Beyond Owners Group (Beyond) is an agreement in which Beyond is permitted to develop Appalachian’s property during a lease period, after which the land and all improvements are turned over to the university.
The development agreement signed this week between Beyond and RISE obligates RISE for the on-time and on-budget delivery of the project and enables RISE to engage the general contractor of the campus project.
Through the P3, Appalachian will save more than $73 million over the cost of developing the property on its own, according to Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Paul Forte. The P3 is made possible by millennial campus designation.
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.