West Virginia University is poised to undertake another major public-private housing construction project, this time a $90 million 1,100-bed development with food services and retail in the Evansdale area, the university announced late Thursday.
What the school has dubbed University Park will be a multiuse facility and the third and last phase of WVU's student housing master plan. It will rise on roughly seven acres north of University Avenue and along Harding Avenue and Oakland Street, and along Country Club Road behind the McDonald's restaurant, officials said.
University planners said they hope the development will reduce vehicular congestion and promote pedestrian travel once it is finished in fall 2015. They noted the project's location between WVU's Evansdale and Health Sciences campuses, as well as proximity to the College of Law, the Student Recreation Center, sports recreation fields and Milan Puskar Stadium.
The new facility will replace current housing located nearby at Fieldcrest Hall and the Medical Center Apartments. Officials said those two residence complexes will be demolished, and the Pierpont Apartments lease will not be renewed.
Thursday's announcement follows a $70 million development in Sunnyside unveiled last fall and an earlier project to replace College Park Apartments, WVU spokesman John Bolt said.
Narvel Weese, WVU's university vice president for administration and finance, called the latest project beneficial both to students and others in the neighborhood nearby.
University Park will include three buildings with a mix of suite-style rooms and condominiums/apartments, the university said. WVU's trustees, in a special meeting Wednesday, approved financing and $14.7 million in land acquisition from entities including MJR Evansdale Development LLC.
Bill Schackner: email@example.com, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG.