Campus center planning has moved one step closer to construction after officials recently named an architectural firm to design the facility and the area around it. A committee of University Trustees and administrators selected the Manhattan-based firm of Kohn, Peterson and Fox out of about eight firms, Facilities Planning Director Titus Hewryk said yesterday. The firm will focus on the area from 34th to 38th streets between Walnut and Chestnut, devising a "long-range plan for development," Hewryk said. He added that although the firm will not specifically address the future of Houston Hall, which houses many of offices and shops which will relocate in the center, ideas for the current student union facility may come up in the course of planning. Hewryk said that designing a building usually takes about one year. Planners have not set a groundbreaking date, but he said he expects construction to begin sometime in 1991. "If everything goes right and there are no problems, the entire process would take three years from the moment of getting an architect to the moment when people move in," Hewryk said. In June, Trustees authorized the administration to spend $2 million of an estimated $30 million for preliminary work in designing the center. Capital campaign directors anticipate that $30 million may be as much as they are able to raise for construction of the non-commercial spaces in the campus center. Hewryk said that it is his "understanding that $30 million is budgeted for the center." But Vice President for Development Rick Nahm said yesterday that the $30 million is not a cap for the campus center fund. Currently, only the $10 million in seed money donated by cosmetics magnate Ron Perelman has been raised for the center. Nahm said fundraisers will concentrate on getting donations for the facility once the center's general design has been sketched out. He added that the campus center will be a top priority in fundraising. Students and some campus center committee members have urged the administration to commit more funds to the center, saying that $30 million is insufficient to meet all the needs listed in a preliminary report. The co-chairpeople of the campus center committee, Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson and Associate Regional Science Professor Stephen Gale, revised the preliminary report to weigh in financial constraints. The two maintain that $30 million would be sufficient to meet all the needs listed in the report if the University uses existing facilities around the 36th and Walnut streets site.Comments powered by Disqus
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