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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA expands to the downtown area and creates more space for academia

Lauren Rentereia
The Roy Place building stands on Stone Avenue in downtown Tucson on Sunday, Feb. 21. The College of Social and Behavior Sciences, UA Libraries and other campus entities have utilized space in the downtown area to help foster ties between the university and the Tucson community.

The UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Architecture and UA Libraries have recently acquired some new space in downtown Tucson.

The colleges and university agencies are developing new social and educational programs in the downtown area. Property obtained by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will be used for what’s being called Studio 44.

The studio will be a short-term residential space for faculty who are visiting the university. It will also host a downtown lecture series, receptions and seminars, as well as provide a location for donor, faculty and staff meetings.

Jennifer Yamnitz, director of marketing and communications for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said this studio will bring people of academia together.

“Studio 44 is an education and event space where SBS can bring people together, such as faculty, students, government officials, business owners, nonprofit leaders, healthcare professionals and community members,” Yamnitz said.

Studio 44 will tie together the UA and the Tucson community, according to Yamnitz.

“We see it as an investment in the revitalization of downtown, and the location where faculty and staff can meet community members to build on existing collaborations, create new ones, share ideas and strengthen the partnerships between the university and the community,” she said.

According to Virginia Healy, senior director of development at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Studio 44 is fully funded by donations.

“These donations have come from people in the Tucson community,” Healy said. “The total amount of individual donors is seven, then there was a group donation which consisted of about 50 to 60 donors. All together we’ve raised about $230,000.”

Bill Nugent, a member of the advisory board of the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, John Paul Jones III, is the lead investor in the Studio 44 project.

Nugent said that having the space downtown may help remove the intimidation of visiting a university.

“The wisdom behind the project is going where people are and also to have a reception center downtown,” Nugent said. “Concerning things like lecture series, some people are intimidated by the UA campus, so having lectures downtown is less intimidating and more community friendly.”

The opposition to Studio 44 claims that the facility would end up being a social center for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

“More than anything, it’s a facility off the main campus that creates new venues that people might be more familiar using,” Nugent said. “Also, people visiting the city of Tucson are more likely to go to an event if it’s happening downtown rather than on campus.”

Currently, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, UA Bookstores and the UA Libraries all have programs housed downtown at the Roy Place building.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will also use the building for community outreach, and for its master’s in public administration and master’s in development practice programs.

The public administration program teaches students to work in public or nonprofit organizations. Students in the program give back to the community through internships and projects with local and state agencies.

Sean Purcell, a UA junior studying Japanese, said the new location associated with the university will help draw people into different events that the university has to offer.

“I think it’s great that the university wants to work with Tucson community,” Purcell said. “It’s more likely that people from the local community will attend public lectures if they’re in the city instead of the university.”

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