WEST LAFAYETTE – As Purdue University prepares for record enrollment later this month, the school will turn for the first time to a public-private partnership to build two residence halls with nearly 1,300 new beds on campus by the fall 2020 semester.
On Friday, Purdue trustees gave the go-ahead to negotiate a final agreement with Plenary Properties Purdue LLC, a consortium of firms selected to design and build Third Street North and Meredith South and then to maintain the residence halls for the next 65 years.
“This definitely is going to be the first opportunity to try this new concept,” said Trustee Gary Lehman, noting a trend in public-private partnerships on other U.S. campuses. “It has significant advantages, and it also has some degree of risks. But the advantages we see are substantial, especially in preservation of capital so we can use it for other things.”
Purdue, working with West Lafayette, has a similar public-private partnership arrangement with Plenary to design, construct and maintain the streets and other features in the $120 million State Street project, wrapping up this fall after more than two years of work. That agreement lasts 22 years, with West Lafayette and the university making payments until the streets are handed back to the city and Purdue.