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Campus a work in progress


Photo
KEVIN B. KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
A final beam is added to the Thomas W. Keating building March 7 at the medical school campus. The building is expected to be completed early next year.
By J. Ferguson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
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Orange cones, orange nets and yellow tape dotting campus this semester have been enough to make some students see red, with one major construction project complete and several more under way.

Two campus projects, the Meinel Optical Sciences building at North Cherry Avenue and East University Boulevard and an addition to the Chemistry building at East Fourth Street, are the major constructional operations students can expect to see next year.

Bruce Wright, associate vice president for economic development, said the Meinel Optical Sciences building will have a significant impact on the department.

The new $46.1 million building, with broader capabilities than its current home, will allow the department to continue to attract top optical scientists.

Wright said the addition to the Chemistry building would provide enough space for research that is vital to the department.

"Research space is essential for the chemistry department," Wright said.

As of now, research is being done off campus at the UA's research park, 30 miles from campus. The addition, with state-of-the-art of facilities, will allow more researchers on campus and is expected to be complete sometime next year.

But the largest construction project is not on the main UA campus.

Several buildings including the Keating Medical Research building, the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch building and Roy P. Drachman Hall are being constructed just north of campus near the University Medical Center.

Melissa Dryden, program coordinator for facilities design and construction, said all the projects would be finished in 2006.

The Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch building will be a high-technology laboratory facility supporting interdisciplinary molecular life sciences research. The projected budget for the building is $65 million, Dryden said.

Drachman Hall has a projected budget of $30 million and will house the College of Public Health and the College of Nursing, and Dryden said it would also offer instructional space for the College of Pharmacy.

The $54 million Medical Research building will house an interdisciplinary laboratory facility to house laboratory and office space for 48 faculty members.

Dryden said two other projects, the Infrastructure Phase VI and the Arizona Health Sciences Center Open Space project, are meant to complement the new buildings.

Dryden said the infrastructure project would bring electricity, cooling and water lines to the new buildings, while the Open Space project will develop open spaces between the buildings.

While many projects are still under way, many graduating seniors can remember the beginning of the Alumni Plaza, which was completed this semester after one year of construction.

In addition to several fountains, two large grass-covered islands and benches for students to sit on, the Alumni Plaza also has a 14-foot-high bronze sculpture titled "The Wildcat Family" depicting wildcat parents guarding two cubs.

President Peter Likins said he first commissioned two miniature versions of the sculpture, originally assigning the smaller version of the sculpture as a gift to the UA.

"It was my way of saying we think of the Wildcats as our family," Likins said.

Likins said the Alumni Association saw the miniature version in his office and decided to commission the artist to make 14-foot-high version.

At the opening of the plaza, the Alumni Association dedicated that sculpture to Likins and his wife.

"It was particularly moving because it dedicated to the two of us, not just me," Likins said.



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