Millersville University today announced a $180 million initiative that will eventually replace every existing residence hall on campus.
Eight new residence halls, totaling an estimated 600,000 square feet and representing 2,000 beds, will be built in phases over approximately five years, beginning in May 2013, the university said. Most will be on the university’s South Quad.
The first two buildings, to be completed by August 2014, will include 185,000 square feet and 695 beds. They will be constructed in the existing parking lot at the south end of the South Quad of campus.
Three halls will be demolished in spring 2014: the two high-rises, Lenhardt and Burrowes Hall, as well as Hobbs Hall.
In addition to the new residence halls, a 350-space parking lot will be constructed across Centennial Drive from the South Quad and will offset the loss of the 180-space parking lot for the construction site.
Millersville’s nonprofit Student Services Inc. will own the new buildings, and the university will manage them.
“This is a model that has been used throughout the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education,” said Geoff Beers, CEO of SSI. “This will be a self-supporting project that will be entirely financed through tax-exempt bonds.”
According to a news release, the fully furnished living suites will range from shared bedrooms for freshmen to a full suite layout that includes a living room, kitchenette and private bedrooms. No more than two residents will share one bathroom, and each suite will feature individual heating and cooling controls.
The new residence halls will also feature game rooms, larger study rooms with small conference-style rooms for studying, a business center and Wi-Fi throughout, and all areas will be fully wired for highly programmable access control.
There will also be a smart laundry facility, where students can check availability, reserve machines and monitor the progress of their wash/dry cycles online.
Ambling University Development Group will manage the project. Its development team includes four local firms: general contractor Benchmark Construction of Brownstown; civil engineer Dawood Engineering of Enola; mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer STV Inc. of Douglasville; and investment banker RBC Capital Markets of Lancaster.
Both AUDG and the architect for the project, Lord Aeck Sergeant, are headquartered in Georgia.