BU gets new apartment approval from Board of Governors

For immediate release: Jan. 12, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania was granted approval to begin construction of a new student apartment complex on upper campus by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors on Thursday, Jan. 11.

At its meeting, the Board of Governors approved Commonwealth bond financing for the project, anticipated to cost approximately $32 million, and accepted the gift of 15 acres of land for the apartments from the Bloomsburg University Foundation.

To gain project approval, BU president Jessica Kozloff explained to the Board of Governors that after the Honeysuckle project was completed several years ago, it was clear that the community was very uncomfortable with another privatized development that would require property tax relief.

"After analysis of the cost of a privatized project without tax relief versus a university owned tax free project, it became very clear that our students would be paying much more rent in the first scenario," Kozloff said. "When we also factored in the community leadership opposition to a privatized project and the resulting disruption of good community relations, we decided that a traditional university owned and operated project was the best way to proceed."

The complex is anticipated to house approximately 525 to 575 students in four-story buildings featuring single bedrooms and full kitchens. The complex would also include a community fitness room. Preston Herring, vice president for student life, noted that the features of the apartment complex were selected based upon a comprehensive marketing survey and that BU has an unmet on-campus housing demand for over 700 students.

Eric Milner, assistant vice president of administration for facilities, said that the formal design of the complex is expected to begin shortly and be complete this fall. Construction will start in early 2008 and the apartments will be ready for students by the fall 2009 semester.

"This project should be seen as a positive step for the community and the university," said Kozloff. "We know that the community would like to see the university house more students. It is clearly in the best interests of our students to provide them safe, affordable housing with the amenities they want, and with appropriate supervision and co-curricular programming."

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.