By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Late this year or early in 2014, the town of Gilbert will be seeking design-build proposals to develop the first branch campus of Chicago’s Saint Xavier University. The planned four-story building will be another anchor in the rapidly evolving Heritage district. The campus will be built on a town-owned parcel, Gilbert Rd. and Vaughn Ave., and will be ready to welcome the first students for Fall Semester 2015. The process is to be set in motion if a pending development agreement between the town and university is approved at the November 7 council meeting.
The town plans to build and own an 87KSF building that it will finance with town-issued debt. Assuming approval of the development agreement, the town’s Economic Development Department will lead the project and a solicitation will be prepared. The debt will be repaid by the 160-year-old university through a long-term lease.
Lease terms incorporate specific performance standards for the college. The number of students, on-campus courses, types of degree programs, and long-term capital requirements are all in the proposed contract. The college has about 3,500 students in two Chicago-area campuses. Gilbert will be its first out-of-state satellite. Terms call for tuition discounts for Gilbert residents.
The building has not been designed, but the college and town are in agreement over the size, mass and facilities. The project description spells out a need for offices, smart classrooms for 50 students and general assembly areas. The nursing school will have eight classrooms, four seminar rooms, and seven lab and lab studio spaces. A 125-seat auditorium is part of the nursing school facilities.
In the business school, a half dozen smart classrooms with flexible technology will be available. Four rooms are to be dedicated as student project space.