Appalachian State University recently began the largest capital project in the university's history.

University officials recently signed an agreement with a real estate company known as RISE to replace seven residence halls.

The school says under this plan, it will lease the rooms from the developer, but will operate the halls like their existing residences with university staff. At the end of the lease period, ownership of the properties will revert back to Appalachian State.

The project, which also includes more parking on campus, will take place in three phases. The first one has already begun and consists of two new buildings on what is now the Stadium Parking Lot.

Appalachian State says it will save millions of dollars through a public-private partnership, known as a P3, because of its state-approved Millennial Campus designation.

University officials say the designation gives them more flexibility, which can provide faster construction and lower costs.

The total price tag for the housing improvements is $191 million.

*You can follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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