By Sarah Battest
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Feb. 5, 2002
A new apartment-style complex for graduate students is planned to be located on campus
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on an $18 million complex for graduate student housing.
The new complex - which will be located on North Euclid Avenue, north of Coronado Residence Hall - will include 145 units with 298 beds, an exercise room, a multi-purpose room and four courtyards, said Jesse Ramirez, project manager for Ambling, the developer of the new complex.
The new complex is intended for graduate students without families, but ideas for a family housing complex are in the planning stages, said Kirsten Price, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council.
"It's totally away from the idea of the dorms," Ramirez said.
Internet hook-ups are included in design plans but will not be incorporated into the utilities cost.
Talks of having a person similar to a resident assistant, who would act as a community builder within the complex, have also been considered, said Jim Van Arsdel, director of Residence Life and University Housing.
The new complex will cost approximately $18 million and is expected to be completed by July 2003.
Designers also plan to close off East Fifth Street and create a plaza between the new housing structure and Coronado Residence Hall.
"We will keep with the desert theme," Ramirez said.
Price said she believes graduate students would be happy living in the planned complex.
"I would want to live in them," she said.
Ramirez said rental costs have not been set but will be similar to the cost of rent in comparable apartment complexes.
The complex will replace Christopher City - the only University of Arizona housing ever designated for graduate students. Christopher City, a 305-unit apartment complex on North Columbus Avenue, was torn down last June due to a discovery of toxic mold and asbestos in some of the units.
The new complex will be built on designated University of Arizona parking areas, but is not expected to cause any more parking problems, said Michael Delahanty, operations manager for Parking and Transportation.
"Permits are based on the academic year," he said.
Parking spaces will be available in August, after the completion of Phase I of the new parking garage on East Sixth Street.
Phase I will include 750 new spaces for parking, while the 850 remaining spaces will be available for use in December, said Patrick Kass, director of Parking and Transportation Services.
Parking permit costs might increase because construction projects like the graduate housing complex will decrease the number of surface spaces, Kass said.