Officials at Boise State University broke ground for a new $40 million Honors College and first-year residence hall at the corner of 2338 W. University Drive.
When complete in fall 2017, the new building will be an Honors-dedicated living and learning facility, combining housing for Honors and other students with dining facilities, classrooms, and spaces designed to boost the student experience on campus, BSU officials said.
The 236,000-square-foot building will offer 656 student beds and help accommodate growth in applications and enrollment in Boise State’s Honors College over the last three years. This year alone saw a 50 percent increase in Honors College applications and the number of Honors College students has grown to nearly 600.
“We have changed significantly and dramatically as a metropolitan research university in the last few years,” said President Bob Kustra during a groundbreaking event. “This project happens because we have been successful … because our Honors College has grown and attracted students from Idaho and from far and wide … because our faculty and staff have made this one of the most exciting undergraduate experiences you can find in America.”
The new Honors College is Boise State’s first building that will be constructed and managed through a public-private partnership, saving tuition and tax dollars.
Partner company EdR Collegiate Housing will build and run the facility without the university taking on any debt that could affect its debt capacity or high credit rating, according to Boise State University.
“There’s not many universities that have embarked on this kind of program,” said EdR Chief Executive Officer Randy Churchey. “We know this one will be successful.”