Georgia becomes largest user of privatized dorms
Plan turns operation of residence halls on nine campuses over to private firm.
A private company has been selected by the University System of Georgia for a public-private partnership that will lead to new on-campus student housing at nine of the System’s campuses. With the signing of the agreement, Georgia will become the state that is the largest user of privatized college dorms. The private developer, Corvias Campus Living, will manage the operations of current housing as well as of new student housing to be constructed, said Charles Sutlive the Georgia System’s vice chancellor for communications.
Sutlive said the private-sector partner will not only bring innovative design to the project, but also will provide operations efficiencies. Those efficiencies and other cost savings that will be realized due to the experience and expertise of the company are expected to translate to reasonable costs and affordable rents.
Worth $517 million, the agreement calls for Corvias to develop more than 3 million square feet of spacefeaturing 3,600 new beds by the fall 2016 semester. The company will also be responsible for management of nearly 6,200 existing beds across the nine campuses over the 65-year term of the agreement.
Campuses that will be participating in the program include Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Armstrong State University, College of Coastal Georgia, Columbus State University, Dalton State College, East Georgia State College, Georgia Regents University, Georgia State University and the University of North Georgia.
The agreement follows recent passage by state voters of a tax break on property taxes for private companies that take over management of university dorms. They will be exempt from payment of property taxes. Some of the provisions of the agreement include the private partner establishing a reinvestment account likely to top $2 billion that will ensure that once the agreement ends after 65 years, the facilities are left in top condition. Corvias will also provide $5.6 million in funding at the start of the agreement for capital repairs and renovations on existing housing during the first year.