Staff relocates to new campus

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Leaders of the new campus in Pima County are packing their bags and leaving the UA behind.

"We need to begin to establish our own identity separate from the UA," said Celestino Fernandez, the executive vice president and provost of the campus. The new campus will be supervised by the University of Arizona for an unspecified amount of time before becoming the state's fourth independent university.

Fernandez and about 10 staff members will be leaving the university as soon as possible to establish a temporary planning location at 101 S. Stone Ave., a newly-renovated building that was once home to the Old Pueblo Club. The second-floor offices, which would be occupied by the new campus, are vacant.

The 120,000-square-foot portion of the former IBM facility on South Rita Road that was purchased by the Arizona Board of Regents to temporarily house the new campus is too large and too expensive for only ten occupants, Fernandez said. The facility, which is also home to a UA research park, would cost the new campus staff about $200,000 per year.

The staff plans to call the 6,000-square-foot Stone Avenue location home for about 18 months. The location will be rented for about $69,000 annually, which will save the campus $131,000 per year.

The new campus has a $1.5 million budget for 1994-95 and a similar amount has also been recommended by Gov. Fife Symington and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for the campus' 1995-96 mid


About 10 locations were considered and the Stone Avenue location was chosen because of the price, the quality of the office space and the proximity of the location to the university and to Interstate 10, which is the quickest route to the IBM facility, Fernandez said.

Other occupants of the office building, which is owned by Great Western Realty, include a social service agency, an attorney and a psychologist, said John Kissler, Fernandez's assistant. The campus staff have not met any of the neighbors.

The new campus is expected to open in the Fall of 1996. At that time, the campus will be located either at the South Rita Road facility or at a downtown location, which was proposed by Tucson Mayor George Miller as part of a plan to "revitalize the downtown area."

The new campus is part of a statewide plan to deal with an anticipated increase of 55,000 students in the state universities by 2010.

The new campus' offices on the fifth floor of the administration building will be used by staff members under Provost Paul Sypherd, Fernandez said.

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