Denton, Texas — Texas Woman’s University (TWU) selected Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, a developer and operator of infrastructure projects for the college and university market, to develop a new student housing community for the university as part of a public-private partnership (P3). Opening in autumn 2019, the village will house 875 students and contain classroom, fitness, exploratory learning and recreation space. Texas-based Hill & Wilkinson will lead the project’s design/build team, in collaboration with project architect Stantec.
Located on TWU’s campus in Denton, Texas, the Residential Village Project will include three, 4- and 5-story Georgian buildings featuring pod-style living quarters with small-scale communal baths with private bathroom and shower stalls. The project will incorporate residential amenities such as lounge spaces, study areas and community gathering places focused on the student experience.
TWU’s first major housing development since the opening of the Lowry Woods Community in 2005, the Residential Village Project will be located east of Bell Avenue with the dining facility located directly north of TWU’s athletic facility, Pioneer Hall, and the housing facilities located on the site of the existing football field. The football field will be relocated as part of the project.
On Nov. 15, 2016, TWU publicly issued a request for proposals. TWU and its development advisor, Brailsford & Dunlavey, structured the request for proposals to identify private developers with the best qualifications, experience, financial capacity and proven track records of executing similar projects. TWU received eight proposals from nationally recognized firms and earlier this year the Balfour Beatty team submitted a final proposal and was subsequently selected as the preferred development partner.
Structured as a P3, Collegiate Housing Foundation, a national non-profit entity, will serve as the residential facility owner through the issuance of project-based, tax exempt debt financing. Project negotiations and planning will continue with Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions in the coming months as the project concept is advanced and finalized. TWU expects to recommend the final project scope to the TWU Board of Regents in November and construction is anticipated to commence in February 2018 in preparation for August 2019 occupancy.
Monica Mendez-Grant, TWU vice president for student life, said: “In recent years, TWU has used hotels and leased apartments off campus to accommodate our students. This new Residential Village Project will bring those students back to campus and create an environment for our students that does not exist today.”
Bob Shepko, President of Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, said: “We’re excited to work with Texas Woman’s University in implementing their vision to create a dedicated second-year residential community that keeps students on campus. Our experience has shown that a vibrant on-campus living experience directly enhances both the social and academic success of students and this new development will factor significantly in delivering that experience at TWU.”
Carine M. Feyten, TWU Chancellor, said: “Our students have been vocal about their desire to live on campus in a community focused environment. This new student housing accommodates their wishes, while also adhering to our campus esthetic and style, and providing plenty of green space for our students.”
B.J. Crain, interim vice president for finance and administration, said: “We were impressed with the level of interest from the development community and the quality of proposals and teams that we interviewed during the process. The Balfour Beatty team provided a strong proposal and continued to impress the selection committee throughout the course of the process. We look forward to partnering with them to make this exciting project a reality for the TWU community.”