Stanford trustees approve concept and site for Bass Biology Research Building

In addition to approving a new biology research building, Stanford's trustees took action on seven other construction projects, including the renovation of Roble Gym. Trustees approved the 2014-15 budget plan, and heard presentations on Stanford's global teaching and research programs and on measures taken to strengthen cybersecurity on campus.

Ian Terpin Students dancing in Roble Gym

Among the projects approved by the trustees is a renovation for Roble Gym, which houses dance classes, workshops, rehearsals and performances.

The Stanford University Board of Trustees recently approved several capital projects, including concept and site approval for the new Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Biology Research Building, and construction approval for the renovation of Roble Gymnasium.

Steven A. Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees, said those were two of eight capital projects trustees approved at their June 11-12 meeting.

The Bass Biology Research Building, which will be located across Campus Drive West from the James H. Clark Center, will support the work of faculty members, doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars engaged in biochemistry and computational research projects. The building will accommodate about half of the Biology Department's faculty, students and staff.

The $107 million building is a key component – along with the new Science Teaching and Learning Center – of Stanford's long-range vision to create a biology/chemistry district.

Stanford will relocate several faculty research programs into the Bass Biology Research Building, primarily from Herrin Laboratories. The new building will have four stories above ground and one below, which will become the home of the Stanford University Mass Spectroscopy shared instrumentation space.

Inside the new building, faculty with distinct but related programs will have space where their groups can interact, offering the opportunity for synergistic educational and research experiences for graduate students.

The project is expected to return to the board for design approval in October and for construction approval in February 2015.

Roble Gym makeover

Trustees approved plans to renovate Roble Gym, which was built in 1931 as a women's gym. Currently, Roble Gym houses dance studios, acting studios and rehearsal spaces that are managed by the Department of Theater & Performance Studies. Dance classes, workshops, rehearsals and performances are held in the "Big Dance Studio," which has a hardwood floor and a balcony.

Under the $28 million project, Roble Gym will be renovated to provide program space for drama and dance, and an "art gym" for students working on independent art projects.

The building's infrastructure, including the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems, safety and egress systems, and accessibility will be updated. Its exterior, as well as its courtyards and landscape, will be rehabilitated in the spirit of the original design.

Construction is expected to begin in July and to be completed by September 2015.

Budget approval

Denning said trustees approved Stanford's $5.1 billion budget plan for fiscal year 2014-15.

He said trustees discussed the university's Capital Budget, part of a rolling, multiyear plan that includes projects in progress or expected to begin over a three-year period. The Capital Budget calls for $655.4 million in expenditures in 2014-15, supporting a range of projects requiring $2.8 billion in total expenditures once fully completed.

Under the 2014-15 budget plan, Stanford increased the budget for its need-based financial aid program for undergraduate students by 3.3 percent for the upcoming academic year. Under the program, parents with incomes below $100,000 pay no tuition, and those with incomes below $60,000 pay no tuition or room and board charges.

A formal budget document is available on Stanford's bondholder information website.

Denning said trustees also discussed two financial tools Stanford recently introduced to make paying for a college education easier for families of undergraduates: an installment payment program and the SoFi Parent Loan for Stanford.

During the meeting, trustees heard a panel presentation on steps the university has taken to strengthen global learning and research programs for faculty and students.

The panel, led by Ann M. Arvin, vice provost and dean of research, included Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI); George Triantis, associate dean for strategic planning at the Stanford Law School; and Brendan M. Walsh, director of the Office of International Affairs (OIA).

Cuéllar described the Stanford Global Student Fellows program, which offers two- to six-week summer field research internships to undergraduates. This summer, students will be working with FSI senior fellows in China, Guatemala, India and Mexico who study global health, conflict resolution, governance and poverty reduction.

Walsh talked about the work of OIA, which supports Stanford's international research, programs and activities, and facilitates new collaborations throughout the world. The OIA provides coordination and communications services, administers a faculty seed-grant program for new global collaborations and supports the development of new overseas programs and facilities.

Denning said the OIA's efforts complement Stanford's Bing Overseas Studies Program, which offers undergraduates the opportunity to study abroad for a quarter, to take part in three-week overseas seminars and to participate in a service-learning program on community health in Oaxaca, Mexico.

In addition, trustees discussed the Stanford Center at Peking University, which recently hosted an address by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Trustees also heard a comprehensive update on information technology security at Stanford by Randy Livingston, vice president for business affairs, and Michael Duff, chief information security officer.

Other projects

The board gave design approval – the third step in the approval process – to the Stanford GSB (Graduate School of Business) Residences, a complex that will accommodate 200 residents. Together with the Schwab Residential Center, the complex will accommodate all first-year, single MBA students and offer additional housing during the summer for GSB executive education programs. All told, the two complexes will provide 480 units.

The complex will be located on Serra Street, next to the Schwab Residential Center and across the street from the Knight Management Center. The project is expected to return to the trustees for construction approval in October.

The board also gave design approval to two new dorms at Lagunita Court, a Mediterranean-style complex located on the west side of campus on Santa Teresa Street. The new dorms will accommodate more than 200 undergraduates.

The project is expected to return to the trustees for construction approval in October.

The board gave design approval to Parking Structure 10, an underground parking garage with 1,185 spaces at Roble Field. The cost of the project rose to $50.5 million, due to the addition of a fifth underground level. (Preliminary plans called for four levels.) The garage will be located between the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center and Roble Gym. Roble Field will be restored to recreational use after the project is completed in early 2016.

The project is expected to return to trustees for construction approval in October.

Finally, the board gave design approval to a stadium field house, which will be built near Stanford Stadium. The locker building will primarily support Stanford Football and visiting teams during games. The locker building project is expected to return to trustees for construction approval in October.

Trustees gave construction approval – the final step in the approval process – to the Panama Mall Office Building, located at the corner of Panama Mall and Lomita Mall.

The building will provide offices and conference rooms for several university groups, including the Dean of Research, Business Affairs, Registrar's Office and Residential & Dining Enterprises – Housing Assignment. The project also includes office space for the Vice Provost for Online Learning and production studios for Stanford Online.

Construction is expected to be completed by September 2015.

Trustees also gave construction approval to transform the historic Old Chemistry Building into the Science Teaching and Learning Center, which will be devoted to undergraduate science education.

The center will have state-of-the-art chemistry and biology teaching laboratories, as well as collaborative learning spaces for students.

It also will house a library that will combine the existing biology, chemistry and mathematics libraries. Preliminary plans also call for an underground addition that will accommodate a 300-person auditorium and two large classrooms.

The four-story building, which faces the Oval at the end of Palm Drive, is a key component of Stanford's plans to create a biology/chemistry district. The site has been prepared and is ready for construction. The building is expected to be completed in January 2016.