Black Hawk College might get student housing

2012-10-25T03:30:00Z Black Hawk College might get student housing Kay Luna The Quad-City Times
October 25, 2012 3:30 am  • 

Black Hawk College soon could bring its first student housing to the Moline campus.

The college’s board of trustees will meet in a special session at 5 p.m. today to consider transferring land to the Quad-Cities Foundation so a developer, Bluffstone Inc., could lease the property and build apartments, according to board documents filed online.

State law restricts community colleges from owning student housing, but they are allowed to transfer land for that purpose.

The goal is to begin construction this fall near the college’s Building 3, with completion by fall 2013.

“We’re doing it primarily for the international students, which we have quite a few of,” board president Evelyn Phillips said. “We also have a lot of students from out of town.”

Over the past six months, the college has researched the possibility of bringing student housing to campus, leading it to find Bluffstone, a third-party developer that specializes in student housing.

The company has worked on local housing projects affiliated with Scott Community College, Muscatine Community College and Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, where new housing opened this fall. The company also has worked with Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport and other colleges in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Kansas.

The first phase of the Black Hawk project would include one student housing unit with a maximum capacity of 114 residents and a parking lot with 114 stalls, along with a separate building for a club house. That building will house the manager’s office, mailroom, fitness area, study area and game room, a board report online states.

After that portion is ready for students to move in, the developer will determine the size and timing of phase two of the project, which would include more housing construction.

If the board approves the initial land transfer today, the next step would be for the foundation to enter into a ground lease with Bluffstone, extending 30 to 50 years. In lieu of lease payments, Bluffstone has agreed to provide a $10,000 unrestricted gift to the foundation on an annual basis, the report states.

Then, the college would approve design and construction documents and work with Bluffstone on tax abatement paperwork.

Phillips said Black Hawk already has student housing at its East Campus in Kewanee, Ill.

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