Business Journal - Firm Lands ASU Clinic Project
Orcutt/Winslow Partnership of Phoenix has landed the contract to design the $6.5 million expansion of the student health clinic on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.
The project was coveted by a number of local architecture firms because of its sustainability criteria and its premier location on campus, where the pedestrian bridge crosses University Drive. It’s also one of the few significant public design contracts to be awarded in the Valley since the beginning of the year.
Although the scope of the project is small compared with many of the large structures that have been built for ASU in recent years, such as the Biodesign Institute buildings and the Polytechnic Academic Complex in Mesa, the public project is one of a handful of premier design assignments during the recession.
The firm learned of its selection Oct. 23 following a highly competitive process.
“There were 22 firms that submitted, and we were short-listed with four other firms,” said Bill Sheely, a partner in Orcutt/Winslow.
Another bonus challenge: The project must meet silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards when it is completed in spring 2011. LEED is a sustainable building standard of the U.S. Green Building Council.
“ASU’s goal is to have the best student health center in the nation,” Sheely said.
Orcutt’s portion of the health clinic budget still is being negotiated, according to Kristine Mower, an associate partner at Orcutt.
The expansion will be funded by student fees that were approved by the Arizona Board of Regents earlier this year. The health fee of $40 per semester will be ongoing to fund basic services and operations across campuses, said ASU spokeswoman Julie Newberg.
During this time of declining work, the project also presents some welcome challenges for Orcutt.
“It’s complicated because of where it is located and how it has to fit on the site,” said Paul Winslow, co-founder and a partner of Orcutt.
The expanded facility will be much closer to the busy University Drive on an already crowded campus. Other factors are designing the structure to coalesce with the existing structure, which dates back to the 1950s and has not been renovated since 1968.
The existing ASU Health Service Building is nearly 24,000 square feet. About 9,000 square feet of that will be completely remodeled, and another 9,000 square feet will be added. The remaining space will be brought up to code.
Orcutt staffers were surprised when they received word of the firm’s selection.
“The number of submittals has been crazy,” Mower said. “The competition is extraordinary.”
More new projects
Meanwhile, two other firms also have received fairly recent design commissions for education projects.
DLR Group is designing the CREST High School for the Paradise Valley Unified School District. It’s another fairly small project, but competition was stiff because of the unique design aspects.
The 14,000-square-foot school will front 40th Street and Bell Road.
CREST, which stands for the Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology, will be a specialty school to train high school students in bioscience-related technologies. It will open in Aug ust 2010. Enrollment is expected to be 150 students. The groundbreaking was this week.
The $3.2 million project was pursued by numerous firms, with four short-listed before DLR was selected.
“It will be a high-performance facility,” said Tom O’Neil, a DLR principal.
Another project went to RNL Design Inc., which will design the expansion and remodel of Phoenix College’s Hannelly Center.
The nearly $14.9 million budget includes 13,000 square feet of expansion and about 46,000 square feet of remodel.
There were 41 submittals for that project, according to a spokesperson for RNL. The competition included DLR Group, Orcutt/Winslow, Gould Evans and Deutsch Architecture Group.
The project is in the 11-month design stage. Contractor bidding will start this summer, with construction scheduled for completion in 2011.