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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Regents approve UA’s revised capital development plan

Zi Yang Lai
The Wildcats enter the field before playing against Washington State in a half full Arizona Stadium on Oct. 24, 2015.

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the University of Arizona’s revised fiscal year 2018 Capital Development Plan on Wednesday, Nov. 16. The plan includes two new major-capital projects and four previously approved projects with the plan’s revised budget of $255.5 million.

With the approval, the UA can now complete planning and design on the projects in preparation for submitting individual projects to the regents’ Business and Finance Committee. 

The two newly approved projects include improvements to the Oro Valley Veterinary Medicine Facility and a combined Intercollegiate Athletics project. 

According to the regents’ consent agenda, the Oro Valley project is budgeted at $8 million and will be funded through the state’s general fund. The Intercollegiate Athletics Project, consisting of four individual projects, is estimated to cost $66 million.

             RELATED: Board approves $66 million renovation plan for several complexes

Plans for the athletics project include extensive renovations to the east bleachers of Arizona Stadium, renovations of the Hillenbrand Aquatics Center and Softball Facility and the construction of a new, state-of-the-art, 45,000-square-foot indoor multi-purpose facility.

Unlike the Oro Valley facility, funding for these projects will come mostly from bonds sold on the open market by the UA, with additional lines of funding coming in the form of student fees and outside gifts, such as private donations. 

Cost breakdown of the Intercollegiate Athletics Project:

  • The Hillenbrand Aquatic center renovations will cost $15 million
  • The Hillenbrand Softball Facility improvements will cost $15 million 
  • The new Indoor Sports Center will cost $18 million 
  • Arizona Stadium improvements will cost $25 million

According to the board book, the aquatic center’s pool is “structurally failing” and the chemical room doesn’t comply with current safety codes and standards. This, however, is referenced as normal life-cycle replacement. 

The softball facility is expected to provide more sun shading, upgrade dugouts and replace backstop netting. 

Previously, the regents have approved four development project, two of which are currently on hold. The university’s plans to update the Skaggs Building, which holds the College of Pharmacy. 

           RELATED: Bear Down Gym gears up for major improvements

Two other previously approved projects — an infrastructure improvement plan for UA’s North Campus and a plan to improve the Engineering Innovation Building — are currently on hold.

The “Student Success District” is estimated to cost $71 million, and the renovations and addition to the Skaggs Building is estimated to cost $31.5 million. According to the regents’ board book, the success district already has $68 million in financing. 

Both the success district and the Intercollegiate Athletics Project will be partially paid for with previously approved fees.

Construction concerns?

  • The UA Health Sciences is expected to begin in January and be be completed in Spring of 2018.
  • The Oro Valley Veterinary Medicine Facility will start in July 2018 and be completed in July 2019.
  • Phase 1 of Arizona Stadium improvements will begin in early 2018 and be completed by August 2018. Phase 2 will follow suit of starting in the off-season in early 2019 and end by August 2019.
  • Specifics of the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center’s construction is unknown, but it is mentioned in the proposal that it will be completed in the swimming off-season. 
  • The Hillenbrand Softball facility is in the planning phase, and construction will not begin until the Summer of 2018. It’s expected to be completed by Winter 2019.
  • The Indoor Sports Center is scheduled to begin construction in Spring 2018 and be completed by Winter 2019.

The Daily Wildcat will follow up on the UA’s capital development projects as construction begins and more information is made available.

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