University of Arizona greenlights $300M for campus projects
- The Arizona Board of Regents has approved a $300 million construction program of capital projects at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
- The program includes new construction and renovations, with the largest project set to be a $157 million dormitory, parking garage, recreation center and office building. That project will be undertaken as a public-private partnership (P3) between the university and Texas-based developer, American Campus Communities.
- The school will also renovate a biomedical science facility and other campus buildings, address a maintenance backlog and create a "student success district," which will feature tutoring space, student support and a wellness center.
Many of the nation's colleges and universities are strapped for cash when it comes to updating their campus facilities. Even schools that have a huge construction budget have to be choosy about where they allocate those dollars, Tony Miliote, vice president of the tri-state institutional division for Shawmut Design and Construction, told Construction Dive in September.
According to educational asset consultancy group Sightlines, U.S. university and college capital spending has fallen 10% since 2007, but the campus maintenance backlog has increased 17% through that same timeframe. The group said that facility operating budgets have increased only 1% a year since the end of the recession and that the current backlog of campus maintenance projects sits at about $30 billion.
UA is using a P3 to tackle new construction, but the concept is still new to some universities and colleges, as some aren't comfortable with the idea of handing over a project's design and maintenance to a third party. Some schools are exploring the delivery method, such as the University of California Merced, which opted to handle its $1.34 billion campus expansion as a P3 with the Plenary Group.
- Arizona Daily Star Regents OK more than $300 million in UA building projects
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