The 400 and 500 courts were demolished in West Village student and family housing at the University of Utah.
“They had certainly survived their lives by being able to provide adequate accommodation for students and up to university standards,” said Wes Mangum, public relations and communications specialist.
The tenants received a notice informing them of the upcoming project.
“We gave them about seven months’ notice. We closed and demolished 104 apartments on these 1100 and we moved anyone who needed a unit in from the Village to another apartment, ”said Jennifer Reed, Director of Ancillary Services.
Gradual closures are expected to continue over the next eight years or until the end of the project.
“We can’t close 900 apartments at a time,” Reed said. “There aren’t 900 apartments on the market that can take these people right now. We try to be attentive to the students, proceeding in stages.
The reconstruction of villages has been under consideration for many years.
“We have buildings that were built in 1960 and 61 and some in 1970 and 71, so we are looking at 60 year of buildings that did not have any major renovation since they were put in the ground, ”Reed said.
According to Reed, after seeing the growing failure of the courts over the past five years, there has been more motivation to rebuild.
“We respond to daily reactive maintenance related to plumbing and electrical,” says Reed. “We have regular water line breaks here, and then residents have to run their water for a long time to get the orange silt running through the old pipes. “
In addition to the daily plumbing clogs, people also regularly blew circuit breakers.
“We do not have the appropriate voltage to Village, ”Reed said. “If someone in an apartment uses a microwave and an iron and maybe someone tries to turn on the dryer, the power goes out.”
The university tries to keep the rent reasonable for the conditions of the property.
“We tried to keep the rent low, well below the market as well,” Reed said. “Do not overload for a product that does not correspond to the market standards. “
The U considered a public-private partnership, in which the university works with a private investor to carry out the project, but ultimately decided to self-finance and self-operate the project.
As a result, the university requested a bond from the legislature.
“We went to the legislature last spring to get approval for a bond for about $ 126 million and we’re in the middle of a tender with DFCM right now, ”Reed said.
Magnum has said its design and build team will be selected by August 2021.
With the reconstruction, the U moves away from the open lawn and parkland atmospheres.
“It reached a point where they had just reached the end of their life and it would make more sense to build new housing projects with better amenities, higher density to accommodate the growing student population and to stay on this site so vital to campus, ”says Mangum.
Reed said all new installations will adhere to the seismic code, as this is one of the most significant risks.
“It is our goal not to demolish the medical towers until a new graduate building is built, ”Reed said.
The West Village is part of a large phased project that includes East Village and Medical Plaza. Construction of the West Village is scheduled to begin in fall 2021 and finish in fall 2023.
According to Mangum, the Village housing project is part of the university’s students’ goal of success.
“To provide students on campus with the opportunity to gain an education, experience life on campus and make an impact on our community, our state and the global community in the future,” said Mangum. “We are thrilled to be a part of this commitment to student excellence. “