Status Update Letter to the Graduate and Professional Students
from Vice Provost Graduate Education Dean of Graduate Studies, Prasant Mohapatra
The final report of the Student Family Housing Redevelopment Committee was submitted to Vice Provost and Dean Gibeling and Vice Chancellor de la Torre on June 9, 2015. The committee presented the recommendations of the Student Family Housing Redevelopment Committee to Chancellor Katehi on September 30, 2015. The final report highlighted the value of student family housing to the campus, identified the key requirements to meeting the needs of the students and identified goals of affordability and discussed possible strategies to meet those goals.
In response to the final report, the chancellor and other senior leaders outlined a plan for the Orchard Park Redevelopment in the March 2, 2016 Orchard Park Redevelopment Status Report. The status report responded to the student priorities articulated in the Student Family Housing Redevelopment Committee’s final report. In keeping with the recommendations of the Student Family Housing Redevelopment Committee, the March 2, 2016 status report detailed the university’s commitment to providing affordable student family housing that contributes to a graduate student environment that stimulates and supports a strong sense of community and well-being.
On April 12, 2016, Provost Hexter and Vice Chancellor Dave Lawlor sent out the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) letter. The letter outlined the formation of the PAC. Vice Chancellor Adela de la Torre and Vice Provost and Dean Prasant Mohapatra will co-chair the committee and Executive Director Mary Hayakawa from Real Estate Services will facilitate the process for identifying the developer partner for the project. The PAC is comprised of staff from Student Affairs, Graduate Studies and Design and Construction Management along with student representatives from Orchard and Solano Parks. The PAC is charged with implementing the vision for the Redevelopment of Orchard Park in line with the recommendations of the Student Family Housing Redevelopment Committee final report.
The PAC convened on May 18, 2016 (meeting minutes). At this meeting it was unanimously decided to move forward with the demolition of the current Orchard Park in order to keep project costs down and the project on schedule. The Orchard Park Delivery Timeline was distributed and is attached to the meeting minutes. Occupancy of Orchard Park is expected to occur in the fall of 2020.
Graduate Studies committed to updating the website, posting the PAC meeting minutes, and keeping the graduate students informed and involved in the Orchard Park Redevelopment Project.
On June 23, 2016, a workshop was held with the students and staff members of the PAC (workshop notes). The workshop was led by a consultant team from Mithun. It included a Walk and Talk with the Architect at Orchard Park and Solano Park followed by an “Amentize” game, an exercise to gather information on the importance of specific potential design amenities for the new community at Orchard Park. Approximately 20 people participated in the tour and the exercise. Students and staff shared detailed written comments from the tour and feedback from the “Amenitize” game. (We received detailed written comments from the tour from 5 students and 6 staff, and we noted 4 students about a dozen staff participating in the “Amenitize” game.)
Outline of Project Delivery Alternatives that are being Investigated by the PAC:
- Redevelop Orchard Park as a campus capital project
- Redevelop Orchard Park as a P3 project with a private developer
- Redevelop Orchard Park with Tandem in conjunction with Russell Park
- Evaluate the future redevelopment of Solano Park (pending approval from Kelly Ratliff, Ken Burtis, Prasant Mohapatra and Adela De La Torre)
PAC Next Steps:
- Begin demolition on Orchard Park
- Gap Analysis to be completed to keep rent at a given level
- October 24, 6:30-8:00PM, Second Workshop with architect and grad students (Childcare provided. If a parent needs childcare, please RSVP by October 18th with their child’s age.)
- November 2, GSA Meeting presentation
Next PAC Meeting:
November 2, 3:30-5:30PM, Location: Rm 173 at the Student Housing Administrative Building.