Leaders break ground on MSU College View project

From left to right EdR Vice President of Development Mark Grambergs, EdR President Mark Trubiana, Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, EdR CEO Randy Churchey, MSU President Mark Keenum, Institutions of HIgher Learning trustee Walt Starr and EdR Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Richards break ground on the College View Development, a P3 partnership between MSU and the Memphis-based EdR real estate firm. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)
Staff Writer

A new project and a new era for student housing at Mississippi State University began Monday, with the groundbreaking of the College View housing project.

The $67 million project is a public-private partnership (P3) between MSU and the Memphis-based EdR development firm, which specializes in college housing. This is the first housing P3 project on any of Mississippi’s public university campuses. However, MSU hasbeen involved in a P3 before, in the form of The Mill Conference Center.

In addition to more than 600 apartment beds for upperclassmen, the building will also house retail space and a courtyard. The project also will include a daycare center, increasing space on campus for those in the MSU community needing daycare services for their children. The project is located on College View Street, near the former location of the Aiken Village Apartments.

"I am beside myself for this occasion,"said MSU President Mark Keenum. "I have been looking foreword to this day for quite some time. This day, this groundbreaking ceremony, this construction of an unbelievable housing and retail development here at Mississippi State is truly a wonderful occasion for our future as a university."

Keenum said the new development would offer upperclassmen wanting to live off campus the best of both worlds, with apartments available to upperclassmen on campus.

Keenum also emphasized the effort made to bring the project to MSU and Starkville, thanking the city, his team at MSU and the EdR team. He also said two bills had to be passed by the Mississippi Legislature to ensure the project happened.

"It's been three-and-a-half, almost four years of work to get to this occasion," Keenum said. "a lot of people involved in this process."

Keenum said he first got the vision for College view after having conversations about a similar development on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky with UK President Eli Capilouto.

"It's the first one like it in in the state of Mississippi," Keenum said. "There's no other institution in the state that has a public-private partnership development like we're doing right here at Mississippi State. We hope to be setting a standard for all the other collegesin the state."

EdR President and Chairman of the Board Randy Churchey said he hoped to see the project be built on into multiple phases.

"Working with the folks here at Mississippi State has truly been a pleasure and an honor," Churchey said. "Whenever you work on deals like this, which are fairly complicated, there's always things that arise that each party sees differently, but your staff has worked great with my staff, sharing points of view and coming to agreement on items that initially did not seem solvable."

Delivery of College View is scheduled for fall 2019.