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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New dorms back on schedule

    As the summer months are well underway, so is construction of the university’s biggest construction project ever, after some doubt due to financial concerns.

    The two future UA residence halls along Sixth Street, one site at Tyndall Avenue and the other at Highland Avenue, will provide on-campus housing for more than 1,000 students, said Facilities Design and Construction manager Rick Marsh.

    This $159 million project for both sites is scheduled for completion around March 2011, with the opening of both residence halls in August 2011, he added.

    UA officials had halted the construction of the residence halls earlier this spring. Marsh said the economic conditions delayed both sites for a brief period.

    “”The state legislature, before the university borrowed the money, wanted to think about what the economy is doing,”” Marsh said. “”With official approval, the project is back on schedule.””

    While residence life can look forward to more space for prospective students, Tucson can look for a boost in their economy, as the construction project will generate more than 1,500 jobs and generate more than $13 million in tax revenues, Marsh said.

    “”There’s some good PR from spending this money,”” he said. “”It will greatly affect the

    local economy while creating and sustaining jobs in the community.””

    Marsh said that these two halls make up the biggest construction project the FDC has ever done on the UA campus.

    The normal occupancy for all 21 of the university’s residence halls totals around 5,700 spaces. With the new halls, that number will increase by more than 1,000, said Steve Gilmore, assistant director of housing assignments for Residence Life.

    While on-campus rates look to increase in the fall, ResLife cannot predict the effects that the economy will have on housing for future residents, Gilmore said.

    “”This year has been really strange,”” Gilmore said. “”The downward economy has something to do with it.””

    In the past, most students would apply to multiple housing units and pay the non-refundable housing fees before making their final decision, an act that became less common this year, he said.

    Now students are waiting longer to pay the fee until after they have made their final decisions on housing, Gilmore added.

    “”It seems as though people make decisions this year based on the economy,”” he said.

    The Tyndall site has begun ground surfacing work just south of Coronado Residence Hall. With 1,500 jobs created with nearly 200 workers on site every day, the FDC said that the halls should be completed on schedule.

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