UMR Looks to Build 'P3' Partnerships

April 15, 2017

(Post Bulletin) -- 

It's been a decade since the University of Minnesota Rochester opened its doors, embarking on a mission to create a health care-focused campus from scratch.

Now, the small but growing university has its eyes set on a 10-acre expansion. But a sprawling campus isn't what college leaders have in mind. Instead, UMR's campus will be set downtown, opening up to the adjacent Soldiers Field Park, on a campus that's shared with the community.

The "pedestrian-friendly" campus will be built around a tree-lined First Avenue with plazas and green space to draw people outside, encouraging biking, walking and use of public transportation. The multi-use campus buildings will be built on a "human scale" stretching at the most to eight stories.

The best part for UMR: someone else is going to pay for it.

The plan, built using what's called a "public-private partnership," or a "P3," will bring together several community organizations to share a space — and its rent. The model, though new, is one that's gaining traction with developers and colleges alike, throughout the country.


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