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Student Success District at the University of Arizona receives a DBIA National Merit Award in Educational Facilities
8-14-2023 | News
The University of Arizona’s commitment to student success in all its facets manifests in the Student Success District. This complex project redefines and revitalizes the Main Library, Weaver Science-Engineering Library and historic Bear Down Gymnasium and merges them with the new 57,000 sq. ft. Bartlett Center for Student Success to create an interconnected District providing a centralized point of support for the student body.
Although resources were tight, the university knew this project had to accomplish a lot and it was decided that a Progressive Design-Build delivery method offered the best value. The complexity of the project, compounded with ambitious design goals, a tight budget, and an aggressive design and construction schedule necessitated a “one team” approach built on collaboration, innovation and problem-solving.
Embracing Design-Build Efficiencies
Most fundamental to the team’s success was the understanding that delivering on the project vision would require each team member to work in the best interest of the project rather than the individual. This collective goal created an authentically collaborative team that was able to leverage the depth and breadth of expertise of team members to proactively identify and mitigate potential risks and develop design and construction solutions that achieved the Owner’s design goals within budget.
To minimize disruptions to library access for students, construction for the project was phased over a three-year period from 2019 to 2022. Quality assurance in the design phase was facilities by live cloud-based BIM models. To reduce water use, landscape between the buildings was designed with drought-tolerant indigenous plantings and dry streams that collect stormwater during the infrequent but deluging seasonal monsoons. This project was LEED Gold certified and went above the Owner’s goals of reducing energy and water demands.