By MEAGHAN FIELD

    The cost differential between the two schemes is $2 million. Scheme I involved mandatory measures, which included a variety of building code upgrades. It also includes repairs to the landscape areas and façade improvements to the current buildings, along with the addition of 2,300 gross square feet. This plan would cost about $5 million, while Scheme II would cost $7 million in larger construction costs.

    aThe cost differential between the schemes was an important factor as there are limited funds for the expansion of both Student Center and Price Center and it was imperative for me to ensure that the students are getting the most for their money,”” Williams said. “”Most importantly, the cost differential was outweighed by the benefits that Scheme II would bring to Student Center.””

    Scheme II includes everything from Scheme I, with additional features. It is a more comprehensive overhaul of the structures, including more demolition in order to create more open outdoor spaces as well as more conveniently located indoor spaces. It adds 5,000 gross square feet, which increases the square footage proposed in Scheme I by 2,700 gross square feet. Although the space will be changed drastically to create a more open environment, the square footage increase is the most prominent difference between the two schemes in the face of student population growth in coming years.

    “”The Building Advisory Committee felt that it was important that both Price Center and Student Center be able to handle the projected increase in enrollments and the increased demand for services,”” Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life and BAC co-chair Carmen Vazquez said. “”Scheme II is larger than Scheme I and so is better suited to accommodate growth in campus enrollment and growth in student organizations, as well as larger events.””

    According to Vazquez, a large portion of the decision to choose Scheme II also came from the input of the current tenants of Student Center. In a meeting with University Centers director Gary Ratcliff, the tenants were asked for input as to which scheme they preferred for their own organization. All of the tenants either gave no preference between the schemes or chose Scheme II.

    “”With the additional square footage in Student Center, existing services will be enhanced and some more services can be offered,”” Williams said. “”These additions will help serve the western edge of campus and continue to provide an alternative place to socialize besides Price Center.””

    The development scheme includes the repair of various aspects of the current structures. These measures are meant to make the 25 year-old structures safer so that they meet with stricter current building codes. The measures include handicap upgrades, fixing rot and water damage in current structures and fire alarm system updates.

    aScheme II will replace wood structures that for over 25 years have had electrical and mechanical issues with modern structures,”” Vasquez said.

    According to facilities experts consulted by the BAC, the addition of square footage to Student Center is less expensive than the addition of the same square footage to the Price Center. This influenced the decision for Scheme II, because square footage was felt to be central to campus development as enrollment continues to grow. According to Vazquez, it is not only the growth in students that impacts the spaces, but also the growth in student organizations that occurs alongside the influx of students.

    The necessity to accommodate this enrollment was a major consideration in the final decision by the committee, although it was not the only factor.

    “”No one aspect of the scheme is the most important,a Vasquez said. “”It is the total package: increased square footage to handle increased enrollments, larger courtyards for more outdoor seating, improved layout of the shops, services and restaurants, and the ability to serve students that is most important.””

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