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Santa Rosa Junior College advances student housing plan

Santa Rosa Junior College announced Thursday it is considering the possibility of building student housing on the Santa Rosa campus by the fall semester in 2022.

A housing workshop group that included students, staff, faculty and administrators has been discussing affordable housing options for students since August 2017.

When many SRJC students and employees lost their homes in the October 2017 wildfires, the housing workgroup decided to expedite the project.

Scion, a leading advisory expert in campus housing, did a feasibility study on the issue. The study showed 7 percent of students surveyed said they planned to leave SRJC and 30 percent were considering leaving because of the cost of housing.

At a special meeting of SRJC’s Board of Trustees in October, Scion officials said there is sufficient demand to provide approximately 350 beds for students on the Santa Rosa campus.

Scion also recommended using a public-private partnership financing model known as P3 that would not financially burden the college or community. Under the P3 model, SRJC would collaborate with a development firm to build and manage housing on school district-owned land.

On Dec. 11, the Board of Trustees will be asked to consider approving the release of a Request for Qualifications to select a P3 vendor. Potential partners could bid on a full request for proposals in spring 2019.

SRJC President Frank Chong said the college could be a leader in providing affordable housing in Sonoma County.

Chong said:

“Students can’t focus on their studies when they don’t know how to afford their rent. My hope is to provide students with affordable housing options so they can achieve their educational goals.”

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