Maryland Parkway drivers, brace yourselves. Spring is coming.
Over the course of the next year, Clark County will be making road improvements along the university's front door, with work scheduled to begin March 25.
The project will have a significant impact on UNLV, with major work happening from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Flamingo Road and Tropicana Avenue. Parking Lot Y, near the Foundations Building, will be closed until late June. Cottage Grove Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Additionally, work continues in the same area for The Degree housing project.
The county’s repaving project will improve medians, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks, but will limit portions of Maryland to one or two lanes in each direction. Construction also will impact Maryland between Twain Avenue and Flamingo both during the day and overnight, and Tropicana to Russell Road in the daytime.
The project will realign Cottage Grove and Rochelle Avenue and install a traffic light at the new intersection.
“Right now, it's a challenging intersection," said Dave Frommer, associate vice president of planning, design & construction, and real estate. "[Realignment] will help with transit. There will be another place where bus stops make good sense. Along with the existing Flamingo campus access and exit points, this will make Cottage Grove a higher performing access and exit point for the campus.”
In April, a separate county project will begin on Eastern Avenue in the Flamingo area.
Some Units Migrating East Across Maryland
The privately developed and managed University Gateway project, rising up on the east side of Maryland at Dorothy Avenue, soon will be coming online with more than just the parking garage. As the seven-story building in front of the garage gets completed, the top floors, four through seven, will offer rental apartments independent of the UNLV housing program.
First up, though, University Gateway is getting some tenants from UNLV on its lower levels. Over spring break, Police Services moved into its new home on the first floor of the University Gateway parking garage (behind the Maryland-fronting space that’s currently under construction). By the fall, the second floor is expected to be complete and will house the Graduate College, the office of community engagement, and emergency management. Next spring, that third floor will see use as the new home of School of Public Health.
Down the road at Maryland and Del Mar Street, the university has acquired a parcel that will be turned into a 100-car parking lot. It eventually could see use as an outdoor events space when not used as a parking lot.
In all, this is a busy semester for movement on the main campus. The Fertitta Football Complex will complete construction in the second half of 2019, with furniture and equipment being installed soon after. There continues to be significant community support for this building, Frommer said, as fundraising continues for the project.
The old EPA buildings, reclaimed by the university, have started to see education, academic, and research activities begin as equipment and furniture gets moved into the building. Those buildings will be renamed, though to what hasn’t yet been determined.
Outside the main campus, the Harry Reid Research & Technology Park at Durango Drive and Sunset Road will have its first building completed by August. The research park will allow businesses to partner with the university and access some of its assets, like the Cherry Creek supercomputer and the School of Medicine.
“The intent there is to develop facilities as partnerships with private entities develop, or as technologies and systems develop on campus that have a tech transfer capability for commercialization,” Frommer said. “The research park might serve as a big step of something that starts on campus as a research initiative, makes headway as a viable product or service, and then moves out to the commercial market.”
The next major project on the horizon is an expansion for the College of Engineering. The project will wrap up its design phase this year as the university continues work to secure funding for the building.
Early planning is also underway for a new Lee Business School building, which may be considered for future state capital funding requests in conjunction with philanthropic funding opportunities. Also on the UNLV capital planning agenda are potential new buildings for the College of Fine Arts, an interdisciplinary research building, and an academic success building. They’ve all had some money allocated for planning, but are still early in their respective processes.
One other project moving into the planning phase would expand the Student Union and bring more space for dining options/seating, student organizations, meeting, study, and event spaces. As currently conceptualized, the expansion would likely be to the east on land now used as parking, though expansion could happen to the south, with the bookstore being redeveloped.
The funding being considered for the expansion could come from increased student fees, subject to the input and support of students and consideration of the Board of Regents.
“There’s not only a major effort in defining what the Student Union needs to be to serve our current and future students, but also in engaging our students to see if it's something they're really passionate about and feel strongly about that there would be support for student fee financing,” Frommer said. “Because that's a facility of the students, by the students, and for the students.”
More about the various UNLV projects on the Planning & Construction website.