New Construction

University of Arizona Completes Student Success District

The University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., recently completed an $81-million, seven-year construction project called the Student Success District. The project’s goal was to centralize and upgrade a variety of crucial student resources including library services, tutoring and advising, mentoring and career services, and health programs within a single area of campus.

The final phase of construction—the renovation of Bear Down Gymnasium with a restored basketball court, exercise space, a Campus Health satellite office and tutoring rooms—wrapped up in January. The renovated gym connects with the also-newly-renovated Main Library and Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library, as well as with a new building, the Bartlett Academic Success Center. The project also created outdoor common areas (with amenities like power outlets) for students to gather and study.

“The idea is that by bringing all these services that were previously at different locations across campus, you’re not only increasing awareness, but you’re increasing utilization through awareness,” said Dean of University Libraries Shan Sutton.

The Bartlett Academic Success Center opened in fall 2021 and contains a variety of academic support resources like the UA Thrive Center; Student Engagement and Career Development; and academic advising for students in the colleges of humanities, social and behavioral sciences and science.

Renovations to the Main Library transformed its first and second floors to include new study spaces and upgraded technology. The second floor now plays home to CATalyst Studios, which contains virtual reality studios and 3D printers open to all university students. Renovations to the Science-Engineering Library, meanwhile, added more study space and more natural light to increase opportunities for collaborative studying.

The university partnered with Sundt Construction for construction services and with Poster Mirto McDonald (PMM) and the San Diego office of Miller Hull for the design. Phased construction began in August 2019.

“Student success is the highest priority for us here at the University of Arizona,” said Liesl Folks, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “The District's structure demonstrates our commitment to inclusion and access for all students on our campus and provides them with easily accessible resources to reach their academic and career goals. I am very excited to see these facilities coming to life, and look forward to witnessing the positive impact they have, now and for years to come.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].