Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – In a 180 degree reversal of the public position it has taken for months, Humboldt State University is announcing a "partnership" with the developers of The Village student housing project.
The partnership is announced in a letter from HSU President Lisa Rossbacher dated June 6, which is to be presented to the City Council tonight. That and other new d documents are included in a voluminous council meeting packet available at City Hall
but apparently not yet posted online with key documents now posted online on the city's website.
The university had staunchly disavowed any cooperation with The Village's developers until a recent Public Records Act request by opponents made public numerous emails which revealed extensive contact and coordination on the project.
"I am pleased to share with you that Humboldt State University is actively working to finalize a partnership with AMCAL in which HSU would manage the Village student housing project," Rossbacher writes in the new letter. She states that while the university had been receiving information on the project for over a year, there'd been no progress on a partnership until May 8, when extensive revisions to the project were made.
Rossbacher says that the university's goal is "to increase the availability of quality, safe, and affordable housing for our students..." It cites a housing study and states that without more housing, "we have serious concerns" about the university's ability to serve enrolled students.
An attachment generally describes the basics of the HSU/AMCAL partnership. The university would manage The Village as it would existing residence halls, and would have "full authority" to operate the facility. AMCAL would retain ownership. Services would be provided by HSU Police and HSU Facilities Management.
The handout details recent revisions to the project, which now is designed to house 602 students in five buildings rather than the original 800 in four buildings. Rental rates have been reduced, the attachment says, as have building heights. Parking has been increased.
More details will likely be unveiled at the two City Council meetings on the subject this week, taking place Wednesday and Thursday nights at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 736 F St.
View the meetings via the City of Arcata's meeting portal here.