Mount Wachusset Community College

Gardner,

Student Housing Development Advisory Services

Mount Wachusset Community College officials engaged Brailsford & Dunlavey in the winter of 2016 to refine the College’s plan for an on-campus residence hall project and provide a feasibility analysis. The project had been analyzed several years before and while the College assumed there was sufficient demand to support the proposed 200-bed development, several key challenges remained. Among those were the state’s requirements for financial performance, the significant recent rise in construction costs, and a contracting enrollment. Further, in order to reduce the project’s level of financial risk, the College had met with private developers to discuss forming a public-private partnership for the development’s design, construction, and / or management. Resistance from state agencies had weakened the developers’ level of interest in a P3, however.

Taking these challenges into consideration and building on previous studies, B&D created a conceptual financial plan that included a building program, a baseline budget, a debt schedule, and a pro forma, after which they advised the College as follows:

• Reduce operating costs by eliminating overlapping costs between the project and existing on-campus buildings.
• Perform a new demand study to determine if bed count and / or rental rates could be increased, thereby producing a revenue rise.
• Continue reaching out to private developers regarding a P3 arrangement by setting up informational meetings with different types of partners.

B&D will continue to work with MWCC to explore options for bringing student housing to campus.