Delaware State University’s board of trustees announced plans to build a new 200,000-square-foot residence hall, to open in fall 2019.

The facility will house up to 600 students at maximum capacity. The move will significantly improve the university’s on-campus residential portfolio.

In May 2016, the university initiated a project to identify specific housing needs and to meet increased demand with minimal financial impact to the students and to the university. The deal was developed as a public-private partnership contract, in which a private developer will design, build, operate and maintain a facility through a long-term ground lease on the university’s Dover campus.

After the lease term, the university will assume full ownership of the facility, saving millions of dollars in construction and operating costs while generating significant cash flow to pour back into the university’s strategic priorities.

The project will eliminate more than $15 million in deferred maintenance, a significant cost in maintaining Tubman and Laws halls, residential facilities to be demolished at the conclusion of the new residence hall construction.

The five-story structure will be adjacent to Loockerman Hall and will include a dining facility and a ground floor innovation center that will create a critical connection between the University’s academic programs and student affairs.