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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ABOR approves spending projects for Arizona stadium

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Keturah Oberst
Keturah Oberst / Arizona Daily WIldcat Video Board

A day after giving the green light to new head football coach Rich Rodriguez, the Arizona Board of Regents approved $72 million in funding for upgrades to Arizona Stadium.

During its meeting on Friday in the Student Union Memorial Center, the board officially approved the planned renovations to the north end zone portion of the stadium. Some of these renovations include replacing existing aluminum bleachers with higher-priced “premium” seating, and adding additional amenities and restrooms. The current infrastructure has not been widely renovated since it was built 83 years ago.

Construction is expected to add more than 183,000 square feet to the stadium and the estimated completion date is after the end of the 2013 football season.

The board also rubber-stamped two other projects: $135 million to build a cancer center as part of the existing Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and $75 million to bankroll a second phase of construction for an environmental resource center on campus.

The board also approved updates to the UA’s five-year strategic vision plan, from fiscal years 2013 to 2017. Some of the major goals outlined in the plan include an increase in the number of degrees awarded every year, from 6,195 last year to an estimated 7,200 in 2017, increasing the number of community college transfers to the UA by almost 1,000, to 2,600 in 2017. But the plan also estimates that the cost of a UA education as a percentage of income will rise from 24.8 percent in 2009 to an estimated 31.6 percent in 2017. Both those figures are based on the median family income in Arizona.

The UA is also seeking to notably increase its freshman retention rate, from 77.4 percent in 2011 to 85 percent in 2017. This would reverse a recent negative trend that has seen retention rates fall about 2 percent in the last two years. In addition to retention, the UA is planning to see increases in its number of undergraduate students, as almost 4,000 more undergraduate students are estimated on campus in 2017 than in 2011.

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