By Sarah Battest
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday Feb. 21, 2002
University may consider building residences at Rio Nuevo near downtown
Family housing for graduate students will be delayed until further notice because UA officials and developers could not reach an agreement.
After publishing a statement in early fall requesting proposals from various developers to construct family student housing, the University of Arizona decided to decline all offers because they were not compatible with the university's requests.
"They did not meet all the UA requirements," said Kirsten Copeland, Graduate and Professional Student Council president.
The university is considering meeting with the city of Tucson to consider building family housing in the Rio Nuevo Project
The Rio Nuevo project, a residential and commercial complex located near downtown Tucson, was approved by the city council in 1999. The last family housing, Christopher City, was torn down last June due to toxic mold and asbestos found within the units.
Karen Thoreson of the city's downtown committee said she believes having students live downtown would be a positive addition.
"Students can be a real contributor and beneficiary," Thoreson said, "It's a logical fit."
The biggest concerns for graduate students with families are reasonable rent fees, a good community atmosphere and accessibility to the university and K-12 schools, said George McClellan, graduate associate for Campus Life.
Problems with having adequate housing soon is an issue with favoring the Rio Nuevo project, since the project is still for the most part in planning stages.
"I don't think Rio Nuevo would be done as fast as we need," McClellan said.