Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees to consider a pre-agreement with housing developer
August 22, 2019
The NVC Campus Housing Project, currently being considered by the Board of Trustees, would provide housing for our diverse students, including veterans, foster youth, single parents, international students, athletes, and more. On-campus student housing allows students to actively engage in meaningful ways with the campus: Students who choose to live on-campus generally have better grades and are more likely to graduate than their counterparts who live off campus. The project would provide quality affordable housing for students and employees and will support college enrollments, as well as recruitment and retention goals for both students and employees. Campus housing will expand NVC's support of our community by providing local workforce housing, reducing traffic and travel, and enhancing adjacent city projects.
NVC Campus Housing FAQs
The 2015 Campus Master Plan Initial Report, a policy and land use plan, identified several areas of the campus suitable for development of student and employee housing. We have since undertaken several exploratory activities, including gathering constituent feedback; conversations with local government agencies and nonprofit organizations; and consultation with area experts and legal counsel to assess the feasibility of campus housing.
On September 7, 2018 Napa Valley College issued an Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking the services of a higher education market analysis firm to provide market demand data and analysis for development of campus housing. Six firms submitted proposals in response to the RFP, and representatives from all six firms were interviewed by an evaluation team in November. All members of the evaluation team agreed that The Scion Group was the firm most qualified to conduct the analysis for the College, and the Board of Trustees approved the contract at its December 13, 2018 board meeting. Next steps include a review of financial details of a project at the August 8 Board meeting, public forums on August 20 and 21, and a decision by the Board to move forward with a pre-development agreement with the selected developer at a Special meeting on August 22.
The District is building upon the 2015 Initial Report, which focused on the main campus property, to now include all district sites in a review of potential uses for real property.
The primary goals of the Campus Housing Project are to provide opportunities for students and employees for quality affordable housing that will support student success and NVC enrollment, as well as recruitment and retention goals for both students and employees. The project is intended to establish a permanent resident population on the campus, reinforcing a destination lifestyle for the college. By surrounding the day-time activity of the college main campus with residential life, the project is intended to promote a main campus that is active, vital and vibrant. Studies have found that students who live on campus tend to have better grades and be more likely to graduate than their counterparts who live off campus. This project will also expand NVC's support of its community, both locally and globally, by reducing pressure on local housing, reducing traffic and travel, and enhancing adjacent projects such as the Kennedy Park expansion.
The project may also include an extension of Gasser Drive, or South Napa Marketplace Drive, into the Napa campus, which could become an important roadway link to serve both the main campus and the project. This roadwork is expected to provide NVC with a secondary entry point for emergency services.
All contemplated development areas are outside of the main campus academic core. There is undeveloped property to the north and northwest of the main campus. The Flood Control Project completed by Napa County has created opportunities in the previous "flood way" area that is now considered "flood plain" and buildable.
The project is in the Concept Development phase and the District is exploring several potential funding mechanisms including public/private partnerships, public/public partnerships, municipal bonds, and others. A structure that includes a long-term land lease agreement with a developer has been successfully implemented at other colleges and universities. If the project moves forward, all costs for planning and construction will be reimbursable from the sale of bonds and/or another method to ensure that no funds come from the College's general fund.
It is expected that the Concept Development phase, including feasibility studies, will be completed in spring 2019 semester. This phase is planned to include a market demand study, collection of campus constituent group input, and integration with the Facilities Master Plan (FMP). Once the feasibility study is completed, the Board of Trustees will consider whether to move forward with the next phase of the project in August 2019. It is anticipated a project of this scale would take approximately two years to complete.
Design details and service plans for the project are yet to be defined but it is nearly certain that facilities services and operations of the project will be managed through an outside vendor and not by internal college departments and staff. The
Campus Master Plan Initial Report provides general design parameters (Section IV) including architectural design, open space, pedestrian access, landscape environment, and sustainability.
The Board of Trustees, facilitated by its committee on District Real Property, will evaluate and develop policy level guidance and directives. Additional short-term activities for college staff include a market study, selection of partnership and contract structures, and an opportunities and constraints review of the property within the lens California Environmental Quality Act. Following completion of its research and review, staff and the committee will develop and deliver a set of recommendations to the Napa Valley Community College District Board of Trustees. These recommendations will include next steps in the process to adopt a long-term plan for the College Housing project. This plan must be in concert with NVC's strategic priorities, Strategic Enrollment Plan, Financial Plan, and Facilities Master Plan. The College identified several firms and two companies are currently under consideration to serve as developer/project manager. Next steps include a review of financial details of a project at the August 8 Board meeting, public forums on August 20 and 21, and a decision by the Board to move forward with a pre-development agreement with the selected developer at a Special meeting on August 22.
The California Community Colleges System Chancellor's Office reports that of the state’s 115 campuses, 11 offer housing. Student housing ranges from traditional on-campus dormitories with access to shared bathrooms on each floor to apartment-style buildings on or adjacent to campus grounds. All California community college campuses recommend early applications for rooms because of limited housing availability.
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