University of Arizona finishes $81 million Student Success District
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The University of Arizona finishes its $81 million Student Success District this week. University experts said the magnitude of the project resulted in seven years of preparation and construction to bring the vision to life.
The project connects the Main Library, the Weaver Science-Engineering Library, Bear Down Gym and the new Bartlett Academic Success Center. Dean of University Libraries Shan Sutton said the vision of the Student Success District was to encompass four buildings as one seamless student experience.
“The idea is, you’ve got cutting-edge innovative library renovations connected to student services that were previously scattered all over campus brought into one central location to make them easy to find and easy to use,” Sutton said.
Bear Down Gym is the final building to be renovated and finished this week. Even though the exterior looks relatively similar, Sutton said the inside is a different story.
“The first about (one-)third of the building retains the original gym floor, with basketball markings and two hoops,” Sutton said. “However, the rest of the building has been completely re-envisioned to support various student services, such as advising, tutoring and health and wellness services, so that we’re honoring the past while repurposing these spaces for today’s students needs.”
Between all four buildings, Sutton said a student would be able to essentially spend their entire day in the Student Success District due to its vast amount of resources. Sutton said renovations focused on collaborative learning and the latest technology to ensure U of A students are prepared to get jobs as soon as they graduate.
“We’re very confident the Student Success District will be an integral part at not only attracting students to the U of A, who will see this as a commitment to their success that you don’t see at other universities, but we’re also quite confident student success and graduation will be greatly enhanced by services and spaces that are now available at the district to every single student,” Sutton said.
Sutton said outdoor classrooms, study areas and landscape still need to be completed. When those areas are finished, there will be a grand opening on April 13 to celebrate the new edition to campus.
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