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Monday, April 20, 2009

Alcorn's plan for student housing hits snag

Higher education leaders say the economy has thrown a bit of a wrench into Alcorn State University’s plans for a privatized housing development.

At the state College Board meeting this morning, board members granted Alcorn President George Ross the authority to possibly use the traditional bond financing model for new student housing.

Alcorn is aiming to be the first public university in the state to use private money to finance a residence hall. Proponents say the method speeds up the process and does not add to the university's debt because the bonds are secured through the university foundation.

"The (privatized) model works," but there was no way to anticipate the state of the nation's financial market at the time, he said.

Alcorn currently is in negotiations with one bank to continue moving forward with the privatized method, but Ross said he sought approval for the traditional financing model just in case that doesn’t work out.

"Housing is desperately needed at Alcorn," he said.


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