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UK looking to privatize student housing

Drew Franklin12/13/11

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Article written by:On3 imageDrew Franklin

DrewFranklinKSR

Dr. Eli Capilouto and the University of Kentucky are looking to turn over control of student housing to a private company. The university is in negotiations to transfer control of all campus lodging to Education Realty Trust. The company would be in charge of redeveloping dorms and over 2,500 beds over the next 5-7 years. The transfer would mean that the university would get lease payments for the land but the realty company would collect rent payments from students for housing. Education Realty would spend as much as $500 million on upgrades and renovations. From the Wall Street Journal:
Universities have traditionally operated student housing on their own. But they've been loosening their grip in recent years as they find themselves saddled with aging and outdated housing that they can't afford to redevelop. In Lexington, the average age of the university's buildings is 44 years. Most of the nation's dormitories were built to accommodate Baby Boomers, who didn't mind living in blocky towers with minimalist wooden furniture and communal bathrooms. Universities say these buildings are now woefully outdated and a turn-off to a generation of students who grew up pampered with their own bedrooms and bathrooms in homes wired for the latest technology. And living accommodations are becoming a more important factor that students consider when selecting a school to attend.
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