The Idaho State Board of Education today approved a $225 million public-private partnership (P3) agreement between the University of Idaho and three companies who will lease, maintain and operate the U of I’s steam plant and utility system over the next 50 years. The U of I will invest the proceeds and will use this investment to fund scholarships, research success through graduate student scholarships and stipends, and improved marketing and communications efforts for the University to grow enrollment and revenue.
The P3 agreement is based on similar arrangements at the Ohio State University and the University of Iowa. The winning bid was submitted by a team comprised of the firms Sacyr Infrastructure USA LCC, Plenary Americas USA Ltd., and McKinstry Essention, LLC. More information about the agreement is posted on the University of Idaho website.
“Online Idaho” Picked as Name for New Digital Campus
The Board today also approved “Online Idaho” as the name of the new collection of tools, services, and resources enabling students to take low-cost, high-quality courses from Idaho’s public higher education institutions, no matter where they live. Online Idaho was developed in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. . Gov. Brad Little’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee allocated $4 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to the implementation of Online Idaho. Idahoans should be able to access courses through Online Idaho as soon as Jan. 2021.
Additional Funds Authorized to Address “Digital Divide”
The Board authorized up to $5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to be used for the purchase of computers for use by students at school districts and charter schools contingent on final determination of need. Funding for these devices comes from the remaining funds from a $30 million allocation approved by CFAC last summer.