Mississippi State’s new student housing is all about community & sustainability
On Sunday, the first batch student residents began moving into brand new digs at College View Apartments, a sustainability-driven student housing facility developed for Mississippi State University (MSU).
The state-of-the-art US$67 million facility has been touted as the first-of-its-kind in Mississippi, the result of a public-private partnership between the institution and an affiliate of private real estate developers Greystar Real Estate Partners.
What makes the partnership unique is that it gives MSU students all the amenities and community benefits of purpose-built student accommodation, without the need for bond issuance or the school taking on additional debt.
Via the arrangement, Greystar finances, builds and manages the facility with a 40-year lease of university land and a 10-year renewal option.
In return, MSU adds 656 student beds to its current campus housing portfolio, offering apartment-style living to its upper-division students as well as the conveniences of an on-campus residential hall.
“This development sets a new standard for student housing in Mississippi and provides a unique way to meet our growing housing demands,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said in a Friday ceremony to commemorate the apartment’s opening.
“I am thankful to everyone at MSU, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees and Greystar who has worked to make this project a reality.”
For any college or university, providing sufficient and appropriate student housing is about more than giving learners a home for the duration of their study–it’s about improving outcomes and retention rates.
With demand for student housing at an all-time high in the US, the sector remains ripe for investment.
The provision of adequate housing options is tied to the overall student experience; poor living conditions can have a profound impact on the student’s learning journey, including even altering their view of the quality of the education in itself.
On the flip side, an environment that’s conducive for both study and recreation contributes positively towards the student’s overall mental health and wellbeing, which in turn helps them perform better in their studies.
As studies have shown, students living in purpose-built accommodation are not only happier, they are also more likely to achieve top grades than those living in halls of residence or at home.
College View Apartments was built with this in mind, according to Greystar Senior Managing Director of University Partnerships Julie Skolnnicki.
“Research shows that creating the right environment can lead to higher retention and graduation rates, and we’re thrilled to work with MSU to enhance its students’ on-campus experience,” she said.
“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of College View, which will provide MSU students with a high-quality on-campus housing option that is intended to promote greater learning outcomes.”
Located on the corner of the MSU campus in Starkville, College View Apartments features studio, one-, two- and four-bedroom units in an apartment block set amid 46,000 sq ft of retail space and a 7,000 sq ft addition to the MSU Child Development and Family Studies Center.
As residents, students will receive access to a host of amenities, including a fitness centre, a resort-inspired pool, multiple study lounges and a computer lab, among others.
College View also offers individual leasing options and all-inclusive rent installments with no caps for utilities, providing renters with the true autonomy and conveniences of apartment-living.
On top of its close proximity to MSU, the apartment is also a 10 minute-walk away from the Davis Wade Stadium, Humphrey Coliseum, among other nearby facilities of the lively college town.
“College View is an exciting new addition to our campus housing portfolio,” said MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt.
“It gives our upper-division students the autonomy of apartment-style living and the conveniences associated with on-campus living like close proximity to classes, athletic venues and dining options.
“The new Bulldog Square will also enhance student life as we now have a new space for outdoor music, festivals and events. Importantly, we look forward to seeing new retail locations, restaurants and more which will not only enhance student life but also our greater Starkville community.”
As the icing on the cake, College View Apartments is also sustainability-driven.
According to MSU, the apartment is powered by an advanced microgrid energy system, which allows for better energy efficiency.
Developed by Blue Sky Power, the microgrid is expected to help reduce MSU’s carbon footprint by 750 metric tonnes of carbon per year, saving the university some US$116,000 annually.