Advisory committee selects architects

    The University Centers Expansion and Renovation Building Advisory Committee selected two architectural firms over the summer, one for the expansion of Price Center and another for the Phase II expansion of Student Center. With these firms selected, the committee is heading into the programming phase where committee members gather ideas and then present them to the designers. In turn, the designers will take the ideas and concepts to create a drawn-out plan.

    “”Things are going smoothly,”” BAC A.S. representative Max Harrington said. “”We’ve been moving speedily and on schedule.””

    The BAC received over 30 proposals from renowned architectural firms before making its choice. A selection committee narrowed the number to a pool of five. The selected five then gave a presentation to the committee about their ideas for the project. In the end, the selection committee chose Cannon Design for Price Center’s expansion and Public, a local firm in San Diego that had already designed Phase I of Student Center expansion project, to complete Phase II.

    In continuing the planning and design phase for the expansions of Price Center and Student Center, the BAC must deal with issues of space allocation, designing a financial model and deciding on some conceptual designs. The committee met throughout the summer after the selection process to discuss ideas on certain aspects of the project.

    “”We’re continuing on working with program and design, determining what goes where ‹ in terms of food service, retail, conference room ‹ and what would be in Price Center versus what would be in Student Center,”” BAC co-Chair Carmen Vasquez said.

    The referendum, which called for a $39-per-quarter student fee in addition to existing fees for the renovation and expansion of Price Center and Student Center, was passed last spring. Items recommended in the referendum include allocation of offices to student organizations, new study lounges and new food retail services.

    For Price Center, one of the issues that the BAC has to deal with is whether the building design should be “”introverted”” with a courtyard in the middle, “”extroverted,”” or a mixture of both. Committee members have been working with the architects to create more concrete plans on how to include items from the referendum.

    “”Over the course of July and August, we’ve been meeting with the architects and starting to articulate our ideas to them,”” BAC University Centers Advisory Board representative Jeremy Cogan said.

    Work on the Student Center is also in progress. On Oct. 3, Public gave a presentation to the BAC showing different design schemes. The schemes provided the committee with an idea of how items from last year’s referendum can be put into an actual plan.

    One scheme is to simply reconstruct the groundwork of the existing Student Center. A second concept would be to reconfigure some of the buildings and have a more open courtyard. A third option would include similar concepts from scheme two, but with some student organization offices moving to the Price Center.

    The BAC has not yet committed to any of the plans.

    The BAC is comprised of student and faculty representatives, as well as representatives from facilities such as the Cross-Cultural Center and UCSD Bookstore. According to Harrington, though two-thirds voting power of the committee is held by students, the summer meeting sessions made it difficult for many students to participate. However, workshops and meetings will be held throughout the year where all members of the committee can attend.

    “”In the beginning of summer, there were not too many students and more staff and faculty, which is not how it should be,”” Harrington said. “”Hopefully we will get the point across that we need students to vote.””

    The BAC is also planning to provide an informational meeting to discuss ideas and get feedback from the constituencies of Student Center.

    “”I think it’s really important to get a sense of how exciting the process is,”” Vasquez said. “”We’re working hard to do the best we can to provide the campus with these two facilities.””

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