By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Apr. 19, 2002
Construction already ongoing for a variety of projects at UA's southern edge
Although construction has already begun on two of the three Highland District projects, the area's redevelopment will officially begin with today's groundbreaking.
Groundbreaking for the Highland District projects - Highland District Housing, Office and Meeting Center, Highland Commons and the Sixth Street Parking and Office Building- is today from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in front of the Facility Management Offices building, 1331 E. Fifth St.
UA President Peter Likins, Student Regent Matthew Meaker and the four department heads who will move into the completed buildings are expected to speak. And, Likins may man a backhoe for the ceremonial first dig, said Melissa Dryden, public information coordinator for Facilities Design and Construction.
"It's significant because there was a master plan for the area, and this is the first time one has been implemented all at once," Dryden said.
Previously the Highland area was comprised of three Facilities Management buildings, a maintenance area for UA vehicles, Grounds and Labor and the old University of Arizona Police Department building. UA determined the area could be better used for student services, Dryden said.
Construction is split into two phases for the planned $39.7 million Highland District Housing, office and Meeting center, which is a three-story, multi-building residence hall that will provide 770 beds.
The first phase, which started Monday and is exposed to be completed next summer, will house 250 students, offices for Residence Life and a U-mart type food service outlet.
Phase 2, which is scheduled to kick off next spring and end in the summer of 2004, will include the remaining 500 beds and the remainder of the Residence Life offices.
Highland Commons, which will be home to Campus Health Services and the Disability Resource Center, is scheduled to be started in June and completed in the Fall of 2003. The $19 million project will be three-story complex.
The Sixth Street Garage and Office Building is also divided into two phases, with about half the parking spaces scheduled to open in August and the entire project to be done in February.