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Acquisition of property for the next phase of the University Village development could begin soon, the Board of Visitors Executive Committee learned last week.

This phase, featuring student housing, shops, restaurants and office space, will be focused in two areas: on the east side of the planned "Monarch Way" thoroughfare midway between Hampton Boulevard and Killam Avenue; and the northeast corner of the intersection of 38th Street and Hampton Boulevard.

Plans call for 1,000 beds of student housing along Monarch Way to be located on floors above street-level retail space. Parking for the housing developments will be available in courtyards inside each cluster of buildings. The first student housing facilities are scheduled to open in fall 2003.

During the meeting, President Roseann Runte announced a recent gift to the university from honorary alumnus Tim Miller, founder of ACS Systems and Engineering, a telecommunications and engineering firm in Virginia Beach. Miller has pledged $1 million for one of the new student residences, to be called the Tim Miller Residence for Honors College and International Students. He has also made a recent gift of $500,000 to support athletic scholarships.

"We are clearly at the point of pressing 'go' on the private-sector development portion of the University Village," Robert Fenning, vice president for administration and finance, said at the meeting.

Officials for the university's Real Estate Foundation are negotiating a line of credit to assist with land acquisitions, which could begin as early as next month, said Julie Adie, director of real estate development. The foundation also is working with a developer and an appraiser to determine property acquisition costs.

The University Village master plan extends south to 38th Street and includes the area occupied by McDonald's restaurant on Hampton Boulevard. Plans call for demolishing the existing restaurant and having a new one open by September, according to Fenning. He also said that land assembly for a shopping center at 38th and Hampton should be well underway by year's end.

The target market for the new housing will be juniors, seniors and graduate students who are interested in on-campus housing, Don Runyon, assistant vice president for auxiliary services, told the board.

Market surveys indicate that there is an unmet demand for an additional 1,600 new beds among students most interested in living on campus. Students also said, when choosing a place to live, they are concerned about safety, reasonable cost, a quiet place to study, private bathrooms and kitchen facilities, Runyon added.

The proposed new student housing would consist predominantly of two- and four-bedroom garden apartments.

The board's Executive Committee also heard an estimate of Old Dominion's portion of the upcoming state budgets. The university's General Fund support will be cut $6.2 million in fiscal year 2003 and $8.7 million in fiscal year 2004, Fenning told the Board of Visitor members.

Old Dominion was spared even larger cuts because of the recent Base Adequacy Study which indicated that, although public higher education is collectively underfunded by more than $200 million annually, individual institutions have been receiving disproportionate levels of funding. While the University of Virginia was receiving 96 percent of its recommended funding and Virginia Tech, 95 percent, Old Dominion had received funding at only 88 percent, Fenning said.

Old Dominion's 7.3 percent cut in base funding for 2002-03 also was far less than the average 12.55 percent cut suffered by other state colleges and universities, thanks to lobbying efforts by President Runte and John R. Broderick, vice president for institutional advancement, Fenning said.

Current plans call for offsetting a portion of the budget cuts with proposed tuition increases of 5 percent for in-state undergraduates students in 2003 and 2004; and 8 percent in 2003 and 7 percent in 2004 for out-of-state and graduate students.

This article was posted on: March 27, 2002

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