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WEST CHESTER, PA-In one of the state’s largest construction contracts this year, Allen & O’Hara Development Co. LLC, the Memphis-based subsidiary of Education Realty Trust, has been selected to develop a $250-million project. The 136-year-old West Chester University of Pennsylvania will receive new student housing buildings constructed on the campus.

The first phase of the multi-year project includes construction of about 1,050 beds at a cost of $64 million or about $60,952 per bed. The new housing will offer two-person shared suites and two-person private suites. The seven-story on-campus communities are scheduled to open beginning in August 2009.

University Student Housing LLC, a West Chester University-affiliated nonprofit corporation, selected Allen & O’Hara. For the Tennessee developer, the new work means the company is taking on jobs “deeper into the Mid-Atlanta region and toward the Northeast,” notes William W. Harris, the development company’s president. “We’ve had long, strong relationships based on confidence and performance with a number of schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.”

Allen & O’Hara currently has nine projects with 8,877 beds under construction or in development in five states.

Besides Allen & O’Hara, the development team includes WTW Architects of Pittsburgh, Voith & Mactavish Architects of Philadelphia and general contractor P. Agnes Construction Co. of Philadelphia.

Morgan Keegan & Co., a division of Regions Financial Corp. of Birmingham, AL, leads the financing group that is funding the project.

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