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UK Explores Outsourcing Student Housing to Tennessee Firm

By wmadministrator

Patterson Hall, built in 1903, is UK’s oldest residence hall.

The University of Kentucky is currently exploring the feasibility of privatizing the university’s student housing operations.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced last month that UK is negotiating with Education Realty Trust Inc. to determine if it is economically advantageous to turn over operations of the university’s 6,000-bed residence halls to the Memphis-based company.

At the UK Board of Trustees’ October 2011 retreat, members identified the transformation of residence halls as a top priority. Capilouto subsequently set a long-term goal to replace most of UK’s undergraduate and graduate student housing as well as increase the number of beds to 9,000 within the next decade. An immediate goal is to open a new 600-bed facility in fall 2013.

If a contract results from the negotiations, Education Realty Trust (which is also known by its stock exchange symbol as EDR) would be charged with tearing down and rebuilding most of the existing residence halls and constructing additional housing with 3,000 more beds within the next seven to 10 years.

EDR is one of America’s largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing. The company is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that owns or manages 60 communities in 23 states, including 1,300 on-campus beds at the University of Louisville.