Applying the 3 Olympic Values to Student Housing Development: Excellence, Friendship and Respect
When you think of an Olympian what type of person comes to mind? Maybe an accomplished athlete, dedicated to their sport. Someone who desires to win the gold and be the best of the best. While the athletes have this ultimate goal to be the best, they are also guided by the three Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. These three values guide them through their day-to-day practices, rituals, competitions and interactions with other athletes. They keep the Olympians steady as they prepare to compete. When we read about these three values, we realized that they are also engrained in good – or even the best — P3s where a developer brings their knowledge and expertise of development, planning, programming and financial modeling to the benefit of the Project so that it is a success for the University partner. When these values are brought to the P3 from the onset of the partnership, a new community can be created that is not only a fine building addition to the campus bust also one that reinforces the campus culture, connects students to each other and improves, or even enhances, the overall college experience.
From the establishment of a new partnership to the delivery of the completed building and further through the duration of the groundlease, the projects are most successful when each and every stakeholder is fully committed to the broad range of goals and vision for the project — and thus the partnership. On the development team’s side, we focus on the diligent pursuit of aligning interests and balancing the myriad of goals of a new development, all in the context of maintaining the highest quality new student housing community. From the University side, the project champion commits to bringing all parties to the table as appropriate to make timely decisions and work to keep everyone working towards the common goal of delivering a successful project.
Campuses today house and educate students from varying socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, race and political views. As we seek to plan and program a new student housing community that is relevant today and also adaptable for the future we focus on creating an environment of inclusivity, where all residents feel welcome. We do this by partnering with the University to engage in a dialogue with its student groups so that our planning is informed and we can create a new community that is representative of its residents. We recognize that our projects are likely where students will be introduced to those that will become lifelong ‘friends from college’.
Thousands of details go into planning a new student housing community. Each of these decisions are ultimately geared toward creating a project that is respectful of its location, the campus it will serve and the students it will house. Every campus is unique and each project, to be truly successful, will embrace and enhance those unique attributes. This can be an aesthetic attribute revolving around architecture or materials and systems that recognize existing environmental and sustainable goals of the campus. It can also be programmatic- incorporating specific uses and spaces into the community that responds to and strengthens the unique culture and experience a campus possesses and offers to its students.
When you are evaluating a P3 for your campus, keep these Olympic values in mind. Does your partner bring excellence through its experience and approach, model friendship through inclusiveness and show respect to your campus and culture?