By Joseph Barrios

Arizona Daily Wildcat

A group dedicated to strengthening the UA's Sierra Vista campus is worried that a proposed fourth college in Arizona could hurt its efforts.

The University Foundation of Sierra Vista sent a letter to the Arizona Board of Regents this month outlining its concerns because the board is considering building a fourth university campus in Arizona. The plan is to temporarily house the college at the recently-acquired IBM facility, on South Rita Road.

Adela Flores, director of the foundation, said the group is afraid building a new campus would overshadow the growth potential for the Sierra Vista campus.

The Board of Regents estimates that 55,000 more students will enter the state university system by the year 2010. Some of the ideas to accomodate those students include building a new university in Pima county or in Maricopa county to absorb up to 10,000 new students in the university system.

"We've got a serious problem in the state of Arizona. Something has to be done," said Randy Groth, director of the Sierra Vista campus, citing the 55,000 student figure.

The foundation is concerned that attention to building a new campus will hurt its efforts to strengthen the presence of the Sierra Vista campus.

But Regent John Munger said he thought there would be no conflict between the Sierra Vista campus and the proposed fourth college in Arizona. Munger said a campus similar to Sierra Vista's is needed in Tucson because of the increasing number of college students in Arizona and Pima County.

The University Foundation of Sierra Vista started in 1988 as a non-profit organization that raised money and awareness for University of Arizona programs in the area. The foundation worked to build a facility that would house university classes there so the UA would have a permanent presence, Flores said. The foundation raised $1.2 million for the facility.

Funding and materials for the construction of the Sierra Vista facility was donated to the foundation by private citizens and organizations. But no money was donated by the state or the university. Read Next Article