By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
$1B in Construction Dollars on Books for 2012-2014
The new year will open with good news for Arizona’s three public universities as the Arizona Board of Regents OK’d more than $426M in construction for 2013. Adding to the projects already approved by ABOR, just under $1B in university construction is on the books through June 30, 2014.
The ABOR action is the final step in the three-step process to move from concept to construction for the schools’ capital development.
University of Arizona
With a new president coming on board this summer, UA of re-evaluated its CIP priorities since an October extension from the Regents. The revisions put $162M in new construction into the program—all of which was approved by ABOR.
UA had its three top priorities approved. The $80M renovation to McKale Memorial Center—a solicitation for architects is on the street for this one; a $79M rehab of the Interdisciplinary Chemical Sciences building renovation in Tucson; and $10M to finish the shell of the inpatient cancer center at the UA Phoenix Biomedical Center campus.
The South Stadium Parking Structure ($18.5M) rounds out the list, joining $295M in already active construction projects in Tucson and the $100M cancer center shell in Phoenix. ZGF Architects and Hensel Phelps is the design-build team for the medical school building.
Arizona State University
ASU’s hoped-for start of the $129M Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is pushed back pending collections of gifts and legislative approval for bond sales. It could still be put into the Fiscal 2013 or Fiscal 2014 capital programs if major funding comes from outside sources. Otherwise, the college is looking at $35M in infrastructure enhancements and classroom renovations for the coming year. With $58M in already-approved projects, ASU’s capital construction total comes to $91M for the year.
Northern Arizona University
The smallest college in the trio has $100M in construction already approved for a Science and Health building and a Multi-Purpose Events Center. ABOR approved an additional $7.5M to build out the Health Sciences Education Building shell space.
$100M More for Fiscal 2014
ABOR passed its budget recommendation on to the governor at the December meeting last Thursday. The budget, which the Regents are calling an 11 percent increase over 2013, includes an additional $100M for the colleges to make headway into the additional $375M proposed for capital construction through 2017.
Early noise from the Chair of the Arizona Senate budget committee indicates some heartburn with the Regents request. AZBEX reported December 4th on comments by State Senator Don Shooter (R.-Yuma) calling the board “delusional” and pegging the universities’ request as a “29 percent increase.” No reason was given for the discrepancy in the percentages.