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Board of Trustees Approve New Buildings, Renovations

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Donald Bobbitt and Chairman Reynie Rutledge

President of the UA System Donald Bobbitt and Chairman Reynie Rutledge attend the Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 11. 

The UA Board of Trustees approved several projects, such as the Stadium Drive Residence Hall project and the Delta Gamma new house project, at the meeting Nov. 11 at Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House.

The estimated cost for the Stadium Drive Residence Hall project is $75.5 - $78.1 million and will be paid for by University Housing cash reserves and bonds.

The new hall will be located within a new district south of Pomfret, east of Bud Walton Arena and west of the Fayetteville High School baseball field. The Stadium Drive Residence Hall will consist of two new 350-bed semi-suite buildings primarily intended to house freshmen and sophomores.

Because there is a capacity of 5,732 beds on campus, there is little opportunity for upperclassmen to live on campus. The new residence hall would provide a greater chance for juniors and seniors to live in a dorm if they chose to do so, Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz said.

The project will also include retail dining, meeting rooms, advising and administrative offices, laundry, a kitchen and communal areas. The existing dining hall in Pomfret will be renovated and expanded to help serve the new hall.

Buchanan-Droke and Gladson-Ripley halls will be converted into offices. The pricing of the new halls will be comparable to the Maples and at the top tier of the housing-rate structure, Steinmetz said.

Several academic units, including the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, have expressed interest in the possibility that the new halls be designed as creative living-learning communities that would foster interaction between disciplines. The project intends to provide parking on a .75 ratio of spaces to beds, meaning that 525 parking spaces would be added, according to the board agenda.

The UofA is looking at using advanced wood construction techniques for the buildings.

This project would be the first major one of its kind in the state. It could be what sparks the start of this industry, Steinmetz said.

A bond of $70 million will be presented to the trustees for approval, sometime next year. If approved, construction could start in 2017 and be completed in fall 2019, Steinmetz said.

The board approved Modus Studio to create the designs for the residence hall.

The Delta Gamma new house project was also approved, which will be located on sorority row at the intersection of Maple Street and Gregg Avenue. The building will serve as a house for the Alpha Omega chapter that was re-established at the UofA this fall.

Some of the features include a commercial kitchen, library, chapter room, house manager suite, front porch facing sorority row, semi-private garden space, bedrooms with a total of 85 beds and guest accommodations.

The total project cost is estimated at $11.5 million to $12.5 million, which will be paid for through a combination of private financing and private donations. There will be limited parking constructed on site and a campus parking impact fee. The parking impact fee is to compensate for the loss of parking spaces because of construction of a project and for the future parking requirements generated by the new project. The house is estimated at 32,000-36,000 square feet with the building being ready for full occupancy in May 2019, according to the board agenda.

Thursday, the trustees approved the Delta Delta Delta Renovation and Expansion project. This project involves renovations to create a more usable and code-compliant layout. The oldest center section of the original house will be fully renovated, the two more recent additions on either end of the house will be demolished and replaced with larger additions.

The restoration and reconstruction will create spaces including a commercial kitchen, library, chapter room, fitness and wellness room, laundry, house manager suite and bedrooms. The project will be assessed a parking impact fee, with limited parking constructed on site.

Costs are estimated from $12.5 million to $13.5 million, and funding will be a combination of private financing and private donations. The renovated and expanded house is estimated at 40,000-42,000 square feet. The building will be ready for full occupancy in May 2019, according to the board agenda.

The South Campus Steam System Improvements project was approved Thursday with estimated costs to be $2.6 million. Steam and water lines will be replaced, providing building heating and domestic hot water for 252,275 gross square feet of existing campus space.

This project will replace the steam systems in Gladson-Ripley Hall, Buchanan-Droke Hall, North and South Stadium Drive fraternity sites, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pomfret and other future developments in athletic valley. Existing fraternity sites, except for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, are not heated by the campus steam distribution system but have their own systems constructed within the houses. This steam system will have the capability to heat the buildings proposed by the Stadium Drive Residence Hall project.

The project will be funded by utility cash reserves for design fees and future obligation bonds supported by utility system debt service, according to the board agenda.

The Board of Trustees of the UA System is the institution’s governing body. The board is comprised of 10 trustees representing each of the state’s four congressional districts, according to the UA System website. The Buildings and Grounds Committee is a part of the board.

The Board of Trustees next meets January 25-26 at UofA for Medical Sciences.


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