WESTWOOD—On Tuesday, July 17, the University of California Board of Regents Committee on Grounds and Buildings approved UCLA’s proposed Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference and Guest Center project.
The center, which will be named for the alumni and longtime supporters after they pledged $50 million towards the $162 million project, will be constructed at the center of campus where Parking Structure 6 currently stands, a UCLA news release states. The seven-story building will include 25,000 square feet of meeting space and 250 guest rooms.
A variety of alternate sites was considered, but the location at Parking Structure 6 was ultimately found to be the most cost-effective, without having any substantial impact on parking, which is ample in that section of campus.
In addition to the Luskins’ donation, $112 million in financing will help fund the project and is not expected to heavily impact UCLA’s long-term debt.
The financial plan approved by regents expects UCLA to reach 70 percent occupancy by the third year, in line with the high rates enjoyed by area commercial hotels. A room rate is expected to cost $185 per night. The Luskin Conference and Guest Center would be self-sustaining, officials stressed, not utilizing any state funds or tuition revenue.
While some have expressed concerns about the guest center affecting local hotel business, officials say it will not be able to compete because guests must have business with the university in order to book a room.
The next step in the project will occur in September when the regents will consider final design plans along with a final environmental impact report that was prepared with public input at two hearings that were held on campus over the past year. Upon final approval, construction would begin in the summer of 2013 and completion expected by 2016.
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