Virginia higher education system explores housing P3

The Virginia Community College State Board has taken its first step to explore whether to establish student housing on or near the campuses.

At its most recent meeting, the VCCS State Board decided to explore the housing idea, instructing the VCCS Facilities Management Services office to develop a plan to reach out to real estate developers to determine their interest and qualifications to build, finance and operate student housing on or near VCCS college campuses.

A resolution was approved by the board by unanimous vote on November 21.

“It is recommended that the State Board approve the VCCS’s Facilities Management Services (FMS) department issue a statement of request for a statement of interest and qualifications from developers to provide design-build-finance-operate solutions for student housing, to potentially include section-8 housing, at any or all of the colleges in the Virginia Community College System. 

After proposals have been received and evaluated, FMS will return to the state board with a recommendation and include consideration of the VCCS mission.”

“We’re not seeking detailed proposals at this time,” explained Bert Jones associate vice chancellor of facilities management at VCCS. “This will be a very early exploration of developer interest and qualifications. No timetable has been developed for this process at this time.

“It’s also important to remember that the costs associated with student housing would be borne by those who use that service,” Jones added. “VCCS tuitions should not be affected by student housing.”

Some VCCS colleges already have been exploring the idea. Early discussions at Patrick Henry focus on establishing a 200-unit complex on or near campus, with 1-3 bedroom apartments. 

The next regularly-scheduled VCCS State Board meeting is set for mid-January.