University Center Transformation
Project Status: Under Construction
Project Budget: $80,000,000
Project Delivery: Construction Manager at Risk
Project Manager: Mei Chang
Principal PM: Katherine Miller
Planning Rep.: Mike Yancey
Programming A/E: WHR
Design/Construction A/E: WHR
The University Center and University Center Underground were built in 1967, and have been under consideration for complete renovation and transformation for years. After the 2008 Feasibility Studies, a student referendum followed focus group discussions and student interviews, whereupon a UC fee increase was authorized, which provided initial impetus tofinance the improvement project. It was subsequently approved at the State level. In April of 2011 the Student Government Association (SGA) again approved a second phase of fee increase effective 2012, thus the funding became largely in place for the entire project. Additional funding is made available to revamp dining services.
A 2010 Conditions Assessment Project further explored possibilities, and a two-phased program was devised, where the new construction will be limited to two smaller additions, and the existing UC and UCU will be completely renovated. The result will be the complete transformation of this central facility which offers financial, functional, and aesthetic benefits to a Tier-1 University's campus--it will be the focal point for students, faculty and staff, and visitors alike, and we aim for it to be the venue of choice on campus for all significant events.
During the program confirmation and planning phases through summer of 2011, it was concluded that the North addition could be more freely designed and meet many design goals including no future flooding for UCU, with no cost premium, if the UCU renovation is planned as new construction—demolishing UCU in the process. This will also simplify construction and phasing. The final program and zoning plan were presented to three oversight committees late September and was approved by all.
Phase I was completed in January 2014 and included a two-story addition of 52,000 GSF, constructed to the east of the existing UC in parking lot 1E.The ground floor houses all food service operations and a new 400-seat theater, and a new large dock area; the second floor a series of new meeting spaces including two large event spaces. A new enlarged North addition now comprises nearly 68,000 GSF, pulled closer to the UC and employing a E-W atrium with natural lighting separating them which has multiple benefits. A majority of existing Student Organization spaces are now relocated into this addition, where they sport better accessibility and visibility; this should vitalize student life and participation. Most other UC special components and a new SGA Senate chamber are housed on the second floor. Total new construction scope was 120,000 GSF.
The bookstore has been relocated to the east side of the existing UC building just inside the new food service element and utilizes ground and basement floors.
The UC renovation work in Phase II will address deferred maintenance and code compliance issues; renew all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; enclose the existing arbor space and develop it into a visually rich, lively, and multi-faceted central space; add a mixture of lounge spaces throughout; offer modern conveniences; and in general transform the UC experience. Total scope is 92,000 GSF and is anticipated to be completed in January 2015.