Black Hawk College Hopes to Build Student Housing - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Black Hawk College Hopes to Build Student Housing

Updated: Oct 22, 2012 06:40 PM CDT
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Student housing on community college campuses is growing in popularity and now Black Hawk Community College is hoping to put up some of its own. School leaders say with international students, more than 100 student athletes, and some people driving to class from several hours away, it's something that is needed.

 However, by law community colleges are not allowed to own their own housing. The plan is to transfer a piece of land that is currently an old sports track and right next to building three, to the colleges non-profit foundation. The board plans to vote on the transfer Thursday. Then, the foundation will have to agree to lease the land to the developer over the next 30 to 40 years.

"Each year in lieu of a lease payment Bluffstone will gift $10,000 per year for our foundation that we can potentially use for school or housing scholarships," said Mike Phillips, Vice President of Administration for Black Hawk College.

"It is just a wonderful opportunity."

Phillips says many other local community colleges like Carl Sandburg in Galesburg and Scott Community College in Bettendorf have already completed similar projects. He says the plans for Black Hawk include a 114 bed building, with four or two bedroom units. He says there will also be a club house with a mail room, study area, and fitness center. Phillips says the cost will be much more affordable than nearby apartments.

"The housing they are currently residing in is expensive, this is a low cost, all inclusive so their furniture, heat, water, and cable would all be provided."

 Students say they are excited about the idea.

 "I think it will give student's that full college experience that so many people leave the Quad Cities to get," Student Rachel Pitchford said.

"I think it's a pretty great idea especially for student's from out of the area, we have student's from all over the world," Student Matthew Miller said.

 If the housing is a hit and there is a waiting list, Phillips says they have room to build a second complex that is the same size. He says if everything is approved he hopes to break ground as early as this fall and have the housing ready for the next school year.

Meanwhile, the developer is asking for a tax abatement to help get the project started. Right now there is no tax revenue coming in for the land, but that would change if the housing goes up, generating money for the Moline School District.

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