News Ticker

AZ Regents OK $375M in Capital Projects Through 2016

By Eric Jay Toll for The Arizona Builder’s Exchange

AZBEX Exclusive

Part I of III covering the three University’s Capital Development Plans for 2013-14 and the Capital Improvement Plans for 2014-2016.

Hayden Library, on
ASU’s Tempe Campus, is on the CIP list for Renovations. Photo Credit: G&S Electric

Arizona’s three public universities have approval for nearly $375M in capital projects for fiscal years 2014 through 2016—provided the legislature agrees with the priorities. At its September 27th meeting, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) green-lighted capital budgets for ASU, Northern Arizona, and the UofA. Today’s issue features ASU. Northern Arizona University will be covered on Friday, October 5th, and the University of Arizona on Tuesday, October 9th.

ASU leads the pack with $250M in requests; NAU has approval for $70M, and UofA has an OK for $54M, an amount that will likely increase after the December ABOR meeting. UofA was given a 60 day reprieve from the Board’s August budget deadline to allow its new president an opportunity to be involved in setting capital project priorities.

The projects are all proposed under ABOR’s SPEED program—the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Education Development—which is projected to create more than 14,000 construction jobs if the legislature permits its implementation. ABOR wants to issue $1.4B in bonds to finance immediately needed construction at the three schools. The Board projected that once construction was underway, as many as 16,000 additional spin-off jobs could be created.

ASU 2014 Request to Build Downtown Law School in 2013

ASU’s $129 law school proposal, covered in AZBEX September 28th, is less than 10 percent of the $1.74B President Michael Crow says it needs to meet growing enrollment needs over an unspecified long-range planning period. The downtown Phoenix relocation tops the school’s Capital Development Plan (CDP) for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013.

The Hayden Library is slated for a $35M repurposing and renovation. Funded by a state appropriation and noted in the 2013 CIP, the delayed library redevelopment will rebuild the front entrance and increase internal space by enclosing the existing moat area. ASU has a CMAR solicitation for pre-construction services for the library project due Wednesday, October 3rd. See page XX for details. Affiliated Engineering is the design team lead for this first phase of the renovation project.

Lottery revenue bonds will fund $25M in ongoing upgrades to building infrastructure: namely HVAC, accessibility, and maintenance. The lottery is also funding $15M for 50K SF in classroom upgrades and $10M for 29K SF in bioscience laboratory renovations. The projects were all identified in CIPs dating back to 2012, but most were deferred because of budget reasons. ASU plans construction in the coming year.

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ASU to Start Sun Devil Stadium Remodel Before 2016

The $300M renovation of Sun Devil Stadium starts in just over a year—if ASU can cobble together adequate funding. Athletic improvements are the top construction priority for the school in its 2014-2016 Capital Improvement Plan. ASU President Michael Crow announced September 30th that the college will not consider sharing University of Phoenix stadium for its football games.

ASU has not projected any costs for projects in the CIP. Cost estimates are prepared annually and proposed as part of the ASU Capital Development Plan each fall. The annual CDP requests go to ABOR each fall. If approved by the regents and funded by the legislature, projects in the CIP start after July 1 of the following year. Combining the CDP and the CIP gives a three year projection of ASU capital projects, according to the University’s Finance Office.

Topping the spending priorities in the CIP is an IT infrastructure upgrade for all campuses.  Continuing building infrastructure improvements and classroom renovation—including a major renovation of the Psychology Building—round out the top five priorities through 2016.

(Click on table to enlarge)

Read more in item 4 of the ABOR Agenda Book

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