Phase I of Shippensburg University Housing Complete

The first phase of a development project to upgrade all on-campus residences at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa., is complete.

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Shippensburg, Pa.—The first phase of a development project to upgrade all on-campus residences at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa., is complete.

The announcement was made by the independent non-profit Shippensburg University Student Services Inc. (SUSSI) and Campus Apartments, one of the nation’s largest privately held student housing companies.

Two new housing residences on the north side of campus and another on the south side of campus, in total accommodating 924 students, were included in the $70 million first phase. The residences feature semi-suite and full-suite floor plans, multipurpose programming areas and expansive, well-appointed study and social lounges.

The south-side facility offers a new home for the University‘s Honors Program, and one of the north-side buildings houses a 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art wellness center.

The project’s $65 million second phase has broken ground and will provide three new residential facilities designed to accommodate 922 students, all on the south side of campus. These facilities, which will also feature semi-suite and full-suite floors plans, are scheduled to be complete in fall 2014. Also included in this second phase will be new green space affording additional outdoor recreational opportunities.

The first two phases are part of a three-phase project estimated to cost $200 million and be complete by fall 2015. Campus Apartments is working with a seasoned and well-established development team on all three phases. Members of that team include architect CUBE 3 Studio, general contractor Fortune-Johnson, Inc., and consulting engineer Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.

“The university realized to remain competitive and attract the best and the brightest students, it needed to upgrade its on-campus residence halls,” Daniel Bernstein, executive vice president and chief investment officer with Philadelphia-based Campus Apartments, tells MHN. “The current residences were not meeting the needs of today’s students, and were not something the university could market.”

The new residential facilities will be jewels that the university can prominently feature in its marketing endeavors, and will also help the university integrate its live-learn and residential lives, Bernstein adds. The facilities, he says, “have generous student and social lounges, and in Phase I provide a wellness center and a home for the new Honors College. That’s an example of the integration of the programs.”

The development effort in the first two phases has proceeded smoothly, according to Bernstein. “The school has been a great partner, and has been both organized and helpful,” he says. “Financing worked out very well for both projects. It’s been pretty smooth sailing, and there haven’t been any major issues.”

In the project’s first and second phases, Campus Apartments worked with RBC Capital, successfully closing on bond financing totaling $70 million and $65 million for the respective phases.

The new residential facilities should make an enormous difference for Shippensburg University, Bernstein believes. “It really means the world to the campus,” he says. “It’s such an important initiative. To be able to provide this kind of experience to its students is extremely important.”

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