As COVID-19 breathes uncertainty into so many aspects of higher education, the eventual return of students to campus is forcing colleges to rethink projects and partnerships in terms of structure, delivery methods, safety and cost. In the realm of student housing, this also means a re-assessment of Public-Private Partnership (P3) feasibility. At Design Collective Inc. and Brailsford & Dunlavey, we have seen well-managed P3s enrich the traditional college housing planning process, resulting in efficiencies, successful 24-7 spaces, and on-time residence-hall openings.
While P3s are not a good solution to every problem, if matched with the right problem and the right client, they can often benefit both the institution and its students. Many institutions approach P3s with trepidation and misconception, fearing loss of control or on-campus values, but these risks can be mitigated. And many believe P3s are only embarked upon by institutions with debt capacity limitations or the need to preserve capital, while we have seen P3s help schools attract and retain the best and brightest students while meeting their academic mission and financial objectives. With COVID-19 impacts on college campuses, our eyes are open to how P3s might evolve.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Design Collective Inc.