The Residential Colleges are scheduled to open in August, but that doesn’t mean campus construction will be complete. Construction on a new OU living facility — scheduled to open for fall 2018 — has begun, according to a press release.
“There is great demand to live on-campus at the University of Oklahoma and this project will make it even more exciting for students,” said Nick Hathaway, executive vice president and vice president for administration and finance, in the release. “This dynamic public-private partnership allowed the university to build these exciting new high-quality student facilities with great attention to cost reduction.”
In a public-private partnership between OU, Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and Providence Resources Group, there will be room for more than 1,200 upperclassmen students to live and feature a new 1,000-space parking garage.
“It will also incorporate more than 40,000 square feet of integrated dining, shopping, entertainment, fitness, academic and co-curricular spaces,” OU Press Secretary Matt Epting said in an email to The Daily. “All of these services will be designed to complement the student experience.”
The project was approved by the OU Board of Regents at its March 2016 meeting.
According to the meeting minutes, university officials informed the board of the proposed site development plan saying it would “offer meaningful mission-related, operational and financial benefits to the university going forward.”
It will cost approximately $194 million, but the university is not financing the project, Epting said.
“The university entered into a ground lease with Provident Resources Group of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who is overseeing the development and financing of the project,” Epting said. “The university has no debt obligations related to its development.”
This venture, however, does not mean the new facility will be a donation to OU.
“As a public-private partnership, Provident Resources Group is leasing the land from the university, developing the project and generating revenue from rental payments to pay operating expenses,” Epting said.
Details of the project are still to be determined. The new facility will be located where Cross Center — which was demolished in March — used to be at 4th and Asp Avenue.