Options narrow for center site

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

A month ago, the University of Arizona was considering three locations for the new $20 million freshman building and still did not know how the building would be funded. But now options for the facility are narrowing.

Members of Campus and Facilities Planning, who held three forums last month to gather input from faculty, staff, and students, have eliminated the possibility of building on the parking lot next to the Main Library.

Both options still under consideration involve building partially underneath the Mall either in front of the Main Library, or as part of a renovation and expansion project of Bear Down Gymnasium.

In a recommendation to the Subcommittee on Campus Planning and Design, the Campus and Facilities Planning members presented a summary of feedback they received from campus meetings, which showed that there was "no strong consensus behind any one location," said Mark Novak, an architect in the department.

SOCPAD will now either continue to study the two locations and make a final decision, or hire an architect to study both sites. The committee's recommendation, expected in the "near future," will then be passed on to President Manuel T. Pacheco's cabinet.

The decision of how to finance the new building was much easier, since the Arizona State Legislature did not appropriate the $16 million the university requested for the building, said Joel Valdez, vice president of business affairs.

The "preferred way" to finance the building involves selling bonds that the university will have to repay with interest, he said.

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