Campus, Y hopes to further partnership
A year into a partnership that allows University of Minnesota-Rochester students to use the Rochester Area Family Y facilities, the two groups agreed Wednesday to create more connections.
Family Y Executive Director Steve Courts and U of M Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle signed a memorandum Wednesday that calls for both organizations to explore more ways to work together.
During the past year, student activity fees covered memberships at the Y.
That arrangement will continue, and the agreement is for "the stuff we haven't thought about," Lehmkuhle said. "This says we're going to purposely, routinely get together to think about the future."
Decades from now, the groups could share classrooms or facilities.
Courts said the partnership allows the Y to provide an academic atmosphere for its young members.
Other Y's have links to institutions of higher education, Courts said. In particular, he said, partnership between a Phoenix YMCA and Arizona State University guided the Rochester arrangement.
This is the latest private-public partnership for UMR. Instead of building dorms, university officials last year reserved rooms at Broadway Residence and Suites and the Residences of Old Town Hall. Since then, they have entered into a 10-year, multimillion dollar lease with GH Holdings, a developer that plans to build a mixed-use facility at 320 First Ave. S.W.
That lease allows the campus to provide 178 beds of student housing in 84 apartments, in addition to office, classroom, laboratory and student-life space.
University regent Steven Hunter said the university will likely need to pursue more public-private opportunities.
Campuses in Morris and Duluth have agreements with their home cities for the use of athletic complexes.
Rochester collected $11.3 million from a sales tax to be used for higher education, much of which has been used to create the UMR system.
The relationship between UMR and the city is a model for other campuses, Hunter said.
"It's very advantageous for both the University and the city of Rochester," he said.