Kentucky State University’s Board of Regents heard plans for a new on-campus $50 million residence hall at a special meeting Thursday.

The residence hall would feature 65 two-bedroom suites, 66 four-bedroom suites and 14 resident assistant single residential suites.

It would house 400 students and include a dining facility that would accommodate 300 students.

The new residence hall would alleviate KSU’s dependence on Frankfort hotels, where around 600 students are currently housed, but would not eliminate it, officials said.

The project is estimated to cost between $49.85 million and $51.8 million with a 35-year term on financing.

“If we can get everything to work the way we want to get it to work, our goal is that the fall of 2022 would be when the students would move into it,” CRM Companies’ Craig Turner told the board.

The turnkey project financing model includes a capital reserve fund, all operation and maintenance fees and costs for the life of the lease, dining hall, furniture and all development and financing costs.

The project would be a “public-private partnership,” or P-3, a financing technique in which the developer foots the cost of construction in exchange for a guaranteed long-term lease by the governmental entity, in this case KSU. Other examples of P-3s in Frankfort are the Mayo-Underwood and 300 Sower state office buildings.

Potential COVID-related design considerations include touch-free technology and doors, plumbing fixtures, lighting, etc.; providing enough storage areas for personal protection equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies; and providing adequate WiFi coverage in order to assure uninterrupted communication.

The two-bedroom suites will have one bathroom and four-bedroom suites will have two bathrooms. All suites will have a kitchen area.

KSU President M. Christopher Brown II said that some older dormitories would be turned into academic spaces.

The new residence hall was an information item on Thursday’s agenda. The board will meet again in December to hear more about the plan and its costs before voting to proceed with the project.

The board did vote on the spring 2021 academic calendar.

Classes will begin Jan. 16, and final exams will conclude on May 6. There will be no spring break.

“The fall schedule we eliminated fall break and allowed the semester to end early, and those days that would be fall break are technically occurring once the students leave, which is tomorrow,” Brown said.

“This schedule eliminates spring break, and what would be spring break technically appears the week before the students are to return to campus.”

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