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Detroit — As Wayne State University works to address a housing crunch and transform itself from a commuter school into a residential campus, the Board of Governors on Friday approved privatizing the management of its on campus housing.

The proposal created a 40 year agreement between the university and Corvias Campus Living to manage the on-campus housing. The Rhode Island-based company will be responsible for all property management while WSU will staff the buildings and provide programming.

Part of the agreement includes $300 million in upgrades to build two new apartment buildings on Anthony Wayne Drive, demolish the Helen L. DeRoy Apartment, renovate Chatsworth Apartments and pay down the unviersity’s existing housing facility debt.

The issue emerges as student occupany has exceeded on-campus capacity of the WSU’s three residence halls and three apartment buildings for three consecutive years. Overflow students have had to live in the Hotel St. Regis Detroit, or temporary housing - living space in the residential halls that normally is used as a lounge area.

In 2005, WSU’s three residence halls and three apartment buildings were not filling with 2,437 students, according to spokesman Mike Brinich. But this year, all six units are at capacity with 3,131 students - and a wait list.

Additionally, a 2014 WSU housing market demand analysis projected on-campus housing demand to exceed the current capacity by 800 beds.

Meanwhile, WSU reported its first enrollment jump in seven years.

The University System of Georgia entered into a similar partnership in 2014.

KKozlowski@detroitnews.com

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