Olsson’s Landscape Architecture team completed master planning and design services for Arizona State University’s (ASU) North Campus Improvements, which included the campus’ Palo Verde area that contains ASU’s historic student residency halls and infill development.
The Palo Verde site area has changed little over the years and was in need of a facelift to provide students with an improved residence life “experience.” The project was also needed to help compete with the newer, resort-like student housing developments located on the southern half of ASU’s campus.”
This fast-tracked project was a high priority for ASU and had to be completed in four months. It required collaboration with key stakeholders from several ASU departments, numerous utility companies, and the City of Tempe. At Olsson’s recommendation, ASU and the Olsson Associates project team had a formal design kickoff meeting with the City of Tempe to introduce the project and identify submittal requirements, design review staff and approximate review times.
Olsson evaluated and inventoried the existing site conditions to develop an opportunity and constraints site plan. Olsson met with ASU Facilities personnel, collected existing as-built plans from the ASU “Virtual Vault,” and conducted utility potholing to provide an existing utility inventory plan for the area. One particular challenge was coordinating key utilities because of the existing underground utility tunnels that are located throughout the project site. These utility tunnels distribute significant utility infrastructure for the Tempe main campus and sport stadium areas.
Olsson developed three master plan concepts for the 28-acre site. Several key design goals were established during the master planning process: sustainability, connectivity and circulation, maintenance, and programming.
The team had several objectives for this project that were driven by the project’s design goals. From creating a “backyard” for students living in the residence halls to creating better access for emergency vehicles to access the area, the team felt it met all the criteria ASU wanted for this important campus improvement.
Olsson completed the project design and had construction documents permitted and ready for bidding within four months, meeting the ASU summer recess construction window. Further, the project used a conventional design, bid, build project delivery, and the contractor was selected and provided a notice to proceed the day after graduation commencement in May 2012.