The P3 (public–private partnership) concept is getting a tryout at the University of Kansas, where state funding for construction has fallen from 20% of project costs to about 11% over the last 10 years, according to James Modig, KU’s University Architect and Director of Design and Construction Management.
Despite those cutbacks, the university has $352 million worth of building projects in design or under construction this year, up from $100–150 million annually in recent years, says Modig.
Kansas is in the RFP stage of its first P3 project, a new “gateway” housing facility that will be a key component of KU’s Central District Plan, the centerpiece of its 2014–2024 Campus Master Plan.
In addition to providing capital funds, the owner will maintain the building during the projected 30-year lease. With a $300 million maintenance backlog and an annual maintenance budget of only $9.4 million, having a developer assume maintenance costs will be a welcome innovation, says Modig.
Learn more about P3 and other creative project financing strategies in BD+C's Special Report, “How your firm can help struggling colleges and universities meet their building project goals.”