Recreation center proposal wins nod of approval from trustees

At their Dec. 13-14 meeting, the trustees also approved a proposal to spend $50 million renovating Rains Houses and granted project approval to the Jill and John Freidenrich Center for Translational Research at the School of Medicine.

Courtesy of Residential and Dining Enterprises Liliore Green Rains Houses

Liliore Green Rains Houses, one of Stanford's largest housing complexes, is slated to get a $50 million facelift.

A new recreation and fitness center will rise on the west side of campus under preliminary plans approved by the Board of Trustees at its Dec. 13-14 meeting.

The center would be similar in scope, design and size to the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation, which is located on the east side of campus on Galvez Street.

Like the existing center, the West Campus Recreation Center would be a 75,000-square-foot building. The conceptual estimate for the project is $35.5 million.

The center would be located at the west end of Roble Field, next to Governor's Avenue, near a thriving neighborhood of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors living in residence halls, suites and independent houses.

"An athletic center is badly needed on the west side of campus," said Leslie Hume, chair of the Board of Trustees, during a Wednesday press briefing. "It will be much used by students living in west campus residences and by faculty and staff working in that area."

Plans for the new center – a one-story building with a basement – include basketball courts; fitness, wellness and recreation space; and lockers and showers.

In addition, preliminary plans call for a 50-meter swimming pool to replace the existing – and antiquated – pool at Roble Gym. Under the plan, the existing pool would be demolished and the site would be replaced with athletic fields.

Trustees gave the project "concept and site approval," the first step in the process.

The project is expected to return to the trustees for design approval in February, project approval in April and construction approval in June. Construction is expected to begin next summer and conclude in the fall of 2012.

Rains Houses renovation

Trustees gave concept approval for the renovation of the Liliore Green Rains Houses, an apartment complex for graduate students. It is one of Stanford's largest housing complexes, with about 800 graduate students living in two- and four-bedroom apartments clustered around lawns and courtyards.

The estimated cost of the renovation project is $49.8 million.

The renovation will encompass a variety of improvements, including updating the finishes and equipment – stoves, refrigerators, sinks – in individual apartments and common spaces, improving energy and water conservation, upgrading life safety and security systems, and tending to deferred maintenance projects, such as improving the heating design for each apartment. The project also calls for improving disability access and enhancing the landscaping in priority areas such as building entries, multiple use/gathering areas and courtyards.

The interior renovations are expected to take place in two phases, during the summer of 2011 and the summer of 2012. Each phase would begin in June and end no later than Sept. 1 so that the renovated units will be available at the beginning of autumn quarter. Renovation of the common buildings, exterior work and site improvements would continue through the academic year.

The project will return to trustees for project approval in February and construction approval in April.

Jill and John Freidenrich Center for Translational Research

Trustees gave project approval for the Jill and John Freidenrich Center for Translational Research, which will be devoted to the process of turning new discoveries into treatments for patients.

The center is designed to be the hub for the School of Medicine's work in translational medicine, which will occur in close partnership with Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

"It will be an extremely inviting and comfortable space designed to improve the patient experience," Hume said. "It will even include an exterior play area to support children being treated at the pediatric clinic."

The proposed three-story center, which will house clinical trials in cancer treatment, has a project budget of $21 million.

The center, to be located on Welch Road in Palo Alto, will house faculty working in translational medicine, as well as biostatisticians, research nurses and others.

It will be built on a 1.4-acre lot at the corner of Welch Road and the south extension of Durand Way. The existing building (800 Welch Road) on the site will be demolished to make way for the new center.

The project is expected to return to trustees for construction approval in February.  The building is expected to open in June 2012.