Thursday, May 23

Project to increase housing options

Four new dormitories, to be created by 2013, will provide 1,525 more beds for undergraduates

UCLA Housing has announced the construction of additional undergraduate housing on the Hill and its potential environmental impact, with construction set to begin mid-2009.

The letter was sent by the State of California Office of Planning and Research to residents living within 500 feet of the affected areas. The Northwest Housing Infill Project will provide an additional 1,525 dormitory beds, 10 faculty in-residence apartments, a 750-seat dining hall and an exercise facility.

“The ultimate goal is to make UCLA more of a residential community, with two-thirds of students living on or in walking distance from campus,” said Peter Angelis, assistant vice chancellor of Housing and Hospitality.

The project will bring 550,000 square feet of new development to the Hill, and officials hope to complete the construction by 2013, said Tova Lelah, assistant director of Campus and Environmental Planning.

On June 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the UCLA Faculty Center, the committee will hold a meeting to review the initial environmental report before the final draft is released in late July or early August.

This will allow for a more detailed presentation and a question-and-answer session about the construction and its environmental impact, Lelah said.

The construction requires an amendment to the 2002 Long Range Plan to allow for continued expansion on the Hill and will be part of the UCLA Student Housing Master Plan 2007″“2017, according to the initial report.

Two of the dorm buildings, tentatively named Upper DeNeve and Lower DeNeve, will be built west of DeNeve Commons in the brush area north of the Gayley Avenue crosswalk, to the right of the Saxon steps.

The two buildings will be nine and seven stories, respectively, according to the initial report.

The other two buildings, “Sproul South” and “Sproul West,” will make up the Sproul Complex.

Sproul West will be a nine-story structure immediately to the east of Rieber, while Sproul South will be built in the grass west of the Office of Residential Life, south of the current Sproul Hall.

To make room for Sproul South, Housing plans to demolish the current Office of Residential Life, which will be permanently relocated to offices in Tom Bradley International Hall, the report said.

Driveway and parking areas will also be slightly modified.

A UCLA resident assistant, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not permitted to speak on behalf of ORL issues, said that several employees with whom he has discussed the plan have expressed disappointment that the project will destroy some of the last remaining wooded areas on the Hill.

“I don’t know how they expect to fit those huge buildings in those small spaces. … I just don’t think it’s going to look that great. I’d rather keep the trees and bushes,” he said.

Angela Marciano, UCLA Housing’s director of organizational planning, performance and development, said that construction will be done in a aesthetically pleasing and affordable way and that a committee will be set up to address concerns.

“We want students to have input and be involved in every step of the process,” Marciano said.

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