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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

New UA projects proposals an outrageous request

Tucson is seeking another unreasonable facelift. The makeover is a request by the UA, who proposed the Pima County Bond Committee extend the school’s label by initiating two projects.

The amount isn’t set yet, but George Humphrey, assistant vice president of public affairs, told the Arizona Daily Star that currently it is estimated to be about $176 million for these projects. However, Humphrey asserts that the university is requesting for less than two-thirds of the $176 million. The clincher? Pima County taxpayers are expected to cover the bill.

One of the proposed buildings is the Pima County Small Business Entrepreneur Academic Center and the other is a new museum. The museum will be an amalgamation between the Center for Creative Photography and UA Museum of Art.

The purpose of the museum is to enhance urban culture in Tucson and to serve as a major tourist attraction. The center will help people start-up their business, whether it’s domestic or international.

The projects’ proposals, while fixating on both the aesthetics of urbanization and the economic growth of Tucson, are not financially stable investments.

Typically, these types of projects to build new university buildings are funded through the state, so why does UA expansion have to become our responsibility? It’s not like we are each going to have a direct share in these new buildings.

Although the purpose of these two new projects is to create cultural and economic development, these projects are simply a mere luxury due to the lack of need for them.

Perhaps the more redundant of the two is the museum. The UA already has the Arizona State Museum, the Museum of Art, the Mineral Museum, and the Center for Creative Photography. Not only that, downtown Tucson also has the Museum of Contemporary Art and Tucson Museum of Art.

There is no need to squander money on these projects, especially on the museum because in comparison, there are other parts of our community that have a more dire need for taxpayers’ contributions. The museum is a gamble. There is no guarantee the new museum will attract tourists and generate revenue for Tucson.

The Pima County Small Business Entrepreneur Academic Center will be somewhat of a hybrid: part school and part small business start up and has the potential to create small businesses. Still, it seems as if the UA just wants to make its mark on downtown Tucson rather than create quintessential museums and academic centers for educational purposes.

Nothing is conclusive yet, according to Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry as the project is still waiting for the green light.

If the UA wants new buildings, it should rely on the state and donations instead of expecting taxpayers to bankroll its excessive and unnecessary gamble. The university should invest in its existing departments and buildings as they need the funding more and are what ultimately defines the UA’s quality.

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