Dear Graduate Students and Campus Leadership,
We write to you today with a new approach to tackling the challenge of economical, transit-oriented, nearby housing for graduate students. We have been listening carefully to the graduate student community to understand their needs and concerns for how we can better support the tremendous work they do for our university and our research enterprise.
It remains our priority to provide housing options that are located with easy access to campus and to public transportation, including the forthcoming Purple Line. With that in mind, the university will soon issue a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to partner with the administration to redevelop Old Leonardtown into a new mixed-income residential community prioritizing graduate student housing. This request, issued by the Terrapin Development Company, would seek interest in developing quality housing at accessible price points, tailored to our graduate student community.
To focus on the Old Leonardtown project, the university will pause current planning on the Western Gateway development to continue to listen, learn and adapt plans to address the critical need for graduate housing. The administration will continue to study this area to address environmental concerns related to the proposed development. This builds on the university's stated commitment to achieve a Net-Zero Carbon Neutral campus by 2025.
As development work on the Old Leonardtown project progresses, we have taken steps to address the housing shortage in the near-term. The Division of Student Affairs is working with our partners at Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and Capstone On-Campus Management (COCM) to use some garden-style apartments for graduate student housing. We anticipate being able to provide new options for nearby housing for approximately 90 graduate students by Fall 2022.
We are excited for these upcoming projects and look forward to continuing to work with graduate students on solutions and forward-looking approaches. It will take many partners working collaboratively toward shared goals, and we would like to thank all involved for working so hard to make this progress for our valued graduate students possible.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
President, Graduate Student Government