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March 31, 2021
Takeaways from "Back to School, Soon: The Future of Chicago Student Housing," Gene McDonald shares the highlights
Recently HED's Gene McDonald, AIA, LEED Green Assoc., and other Higher Education leaders within Chicago came together for a Bisnow Panel Discussion: “Back to School, Soon: The Future of Chicago Student Housing.”

With almost a year of remote learning, Chicago universities are preparing for the reality of what might be a normal school year in fall 2021. In this panel, the Windy City’s top university experts on short and long-term student housing facilities pointed out operational strategies and development and design trends to help ensure students stay safe in a post-pandemic environment. Gene McDonald breaks down some of the largest talking points below:
Don't discount P3
• With the average amount of year-over-year P3 (public/private partnership) transactions decreasing significantly in 2020, Universities are prime for a rebound.

Flexibility in facilities is not an option
• The ability to adapt housing for different mixes of students, or even different uses, is paramount. Flexibility will be key for operations and strong design strategies can be a catalyst for alternative solutions to student housing.

Amenities still matter
• Amenity trends have long been the topic for on and off-campus housing. HED prefers to focus on tactical spaces that offer outlets for creativity, socialization, and wellness that are unique to the institution and its students.

For more details on these of other student housing solutions, contact Gene McDonald using the links below.
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