Student Housing Business

SEP-OCT 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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September/October 2018 StudentHousingBusiness.com 40 VIE W FROM THE ACADEME Newman: I think it has to do with the quality of the spaces. Let's think about Maslow's hierarchy of need — and I'm not talking about luxury or granite countertops, I'm talking about hot water going to the top floor of the building. Deferred maintenance and aging infrastructure issues are going to be dealt with across the country. I think it is really important for schools to provide a solid baseline facility experience where students are comfortable. I think that is the first level. Good dining and good nutrition are also important. In the last 10 years, we've seen an increasing emphasis on providing group study facilities, more indi- vidual study facilities and com- mon spaces. Looking at many of the buildings constructed in the 1960s, there was often nowhere for students to gather. Today, housing administrators are much more aware of the need to pro- vide appropriate group spaces for socializing and for studying for people to get out of their rooms. And then there's the increase in programming. There is a whole plethora of living-learning pro- grams tailored to particular institutions. SHB: What are you seeing col- leges and universities focus on? A lot of them, we hear, would like to replace older housing stock but often can't find the money. Public- private partnerships tend to be mentioned at every turn today, but a lot of universities still don't want to have to go that route. Newman: With regard to public- private development, they are increasing in number and they are being considered as an alter- native. For some schools — I'm thinking of one small communi- ty college in New Mexico that is located on the edge of a reserva- tion with very little money — a public-private partnership is how they have been able to provide housing for students. This is their first venture, and it's really the only way they can do it because they don't have the reserve. Then, we see some of the research, Big 10 kind of schools considering P3 because, whatever the size of the school, there's still a limited debt capacity. For them, it becomes the institutional priority of how to spend debt. A president may decide they would rather see a brand new science building, and there isn't necessarily the same alternative means of funding that as there is with housing. I think that plays into some of the deci- sion-making at institutions who, for sure, would borrow money more cheaply themselves than having a developer do it. It all comes down to institutional prior- ity and if it will pencil. SHB: What do you like to do when you're not traveling around to universities? Newman: I'm quite active. I like to play tennis and ride my bike. I try to play golf, and have done the best I can do with that. I enjoy hiking. I live in southern Arizona, and it is a very active lifestyle here. SHB s e at i n g + ta b l e s C AYMAN " Looking at many of the buildings constructed in the 1960s, there was often nowhere for students to gather. Today, housing administrators are much more aware of the need to provide appropriate group spaces for socializing and for studying for people to get out of their rooms. — Linda Newman, Director of Advisory Services, The Scion Group

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