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2010: A year of unprecedented construction

Some $850 million in construction is planned for fiscal 2010. Here's a summary of these projects and updates on their status.

L. A. Cicero Gunn building construction

Construction is ongoing at the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn building, a new facility for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

BY KATE CHESLEY

The year 2010 is shaping up to be a milestone in Stanford's history for the volume and completion of construction projects, according to Jack Cleary, associate vice president for Land, Buildings and Real Estate.

Some $850 million in construction is planned for the fiscal year that started in September and ends August 2010.

Despite the volume of work and complex logistics, all projects are either at or below budget and all but a few are on schedule – a fact Cleary and David Lenox, university architect, attribute to the favorable current construction market, strong relationships with contractors and building users, a rigorous project management process, and the expertise and experience of university planners and project managers.

"The staff is dedicated and committed to the university's higher purpose," said Cleary. "Their average tenure is probably around seven or eight years."

Cleary recently presented a construction summary to members of the University Cabinet that shows more than 87 projects are currently in design or construction, costing cumulatively about $1.5 billion. This is despite suspension in January of some $1.3 billion in capital projects because of endowment investment shortfalls.

He told Cabinet members:

  • 18 major projects were completed in fiscal year 2009.
  • 38 major projects will be completed in fiscal year 2010.
  • 5 major projects are slated for completion in fiscal year 2011.

Many of the projects are the result of planning begun as early as 2003, when the first meetings were held to discuss the Science and Engineering Quadrangle (SEQ). Each project has been designed to achieve the university's ambitious sustainability goals of 30 percent less energy use and 25 percent less water use than similar buildings.

Although the buildings are diverse, each is appropriate to its place on campus, said Lenox.

L. A. Cicero Crothers Hall and Crothers Memorial, once a pair of graduate residences, have been converted to now house some 375 upperclass students.

Crothers Hall and Crothers Memorial, once a pair of graduate residences, have been converted to now house some 375 upperclass students.

"They are all different, but they all fit," said Lenox. "You look at the SEQ, and there is a sense of power and scale that most people would agree is appropriate. The collection of buildings for the Graduate School of Business focuses on creating a series of interior and exterior spaces that will encourage collaboration and support the unique business school curriculum. The buildings for the School of Medicine are more contemporary, taking cues from the Medical Center."

When the projects are completed, Lenox said, Stanford's physical environment will be transformed, achieving the campus design originally envisioned by the founders in the late 1800s.

"But it's not about the buildings. It is about what is going to happen in these buildings," he added.

Among the projects recently completed:

  • The Munger Graduate Residence, a five-building, 600-bed complex for graduate students located on Campus Drive East near Wilbur Field. Finished in September, the complex was made possible by a $43.5 million gift from Charles and Nancy Munger.
  • The renovation of Crothers and Crothers Memorial, a pair of three-story graduate residences built about 60 years ago that have been converted for undergraduates. Near Meyer Library, they now house some 375 upperclass students.

Among the ongoing projects that will be completed before the end of the year:

Among the long-term, ongoing projects he cited:

  • The John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building, a new facility for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. It is scheduled to open February 2010 at the corner of Galvez and Serra streets. The building is three stories and will house offices and meeting space for research fellows, faculty, visiting scholars and students, as well as a new conference center.
  • The Olmsted Road Staff Rental Housing, which includes 17 single-family homes and four duplexes for Department of Athletics coaches on 3 acres bounded by El Camino Real, Stanford Avenue and Olmsted Road. It will be completed in February 2010.
  • The Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge on the School of Medicine campus off Campus Drive West. It is scheduled to be completed March 2010. A Centennial Time Capsule filled with donated items from faculty, students and staff was "interred" Aug. 19 in the floor of a classroom in the center. The center is designed to transform medical and bioscience education and training and contribute to the translation of discovery to clinical medicine.
  • The Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, located in the SEQ. Scheduled for completion March 2010, it will be the hub for the School of Engineering's teaching and research.
  • The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology in the SEQ is scheduled for completion in September 2010. Lab facilities will include a new Nanopatterning Center with flexible clean rooms, space for two transmission electron microscopes and electron beam lithography equipment. An astrophysics lab will relocate to the center.
  • The Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, located on the School of Medicine campus off Campus Drive West. It is anticipated to be the largest research facility of its kind when completed in September 2010. The building will be connected to adjacent research laboratories via tunnel and will include facilities for imaging, proteomics, genomics, a tissue bank and a fluorescent-activated cell sorter suite.
  • The Law School Clinics and Faculty Office Building, located at the former site of Kresge Auditorium. It is scheduled for completion in December 2010. The facility will provide academic space for faculty, fellows and researchers, a home for the Mills Legal Clinic and offices for the school's entire faculty.
  • The Olmsted Terrace Faculty Homes project, which includes 39 single-family homes for faculty members on 6.7 acres on the eastern edge of campus on Stanford Avenue near the College Terrace neighborhood. Model homes will be open in April 2010, with the project scheduled for completion in February 2011. The faculty homes will have three or four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a private office.
  • The Knight Management Center, which is a new Business School campus located on Serra Street at Campus Drive East. It includes eight buildings that will be completed in March 2011. The complex is designed to support new methods of teaching management and leadership, while inviting more collaboration across the Stanford community. The complex will set a standard for sustainability among graduate business schools nationwide.
  • The Bing Concert Hall, an 877-seat, acoustically advanced performance facility bordered by the Alumni Center, Campus Drive East, Lasuen Street and Frost Amphitheater. It is scheduled for completion in summer 2012 and will be built on the site of the old men's gymnasium, which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake.