Village, dance center projects make progress

Construction continued at the USC University Village and Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center facilities over the summer months, bringing transformations to campus and the University Park neighborhood at large. As students return this fall, they will find the Kaufman facilities already completed, with the University Village progressing toward its 2017 completion date.

Both Willy Marsh, USC Village director, and Hilton Hayes, senior project manager for the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, said that the structures will make great strides toward improving the campus’ environment. The additions to the University Park Campus are expected to exceed 160,000 square feet, serving a range of needs from dormitories to retail to instructional space.

USC Village, which is expected to be completed in Fall 2017, will feature a total of 2,700 beds above 115,000 square feet of retail space. Retail tenants confirmed thus far include Target, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and Bank of America. The Village was designed by architectural firm Harley Ellis Devereaux and engineered by Nabih Youssef Associates.

The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, designed by architectural firm Pfeiffer Partners, features approximately 54,000 square feet of classroom and studio space with five dance studios throughout and four classrooms located upstairs.

Both Marsh and Hayes stated that the style and architectural influences of their respective projects were the result of decisions by campus executive leadership in order to move the campus styling in a new direction with an emphasis on a new phase of uniformity.

“We have always had a collegiate Roman style,” Marsh said. “[However], the administration wanted to push for something different — a gothic style. The Board [of Trustees] has reviewed the projects, but it is really senior administration who had influence in the design.”

As the largest campus expansion project since the University’s inception, funding for the USC Village totals $700 million, according to Marsh.

“The pro forma with housing and retail should provide a short payoff period and good investment,” Marsh said. “This is not a business opportunity and comes out of a need for housing especially.”

As for the new Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, Hayes said he was not permitted to discuss financing. However, he said that Glorya Kaufman is a large donor to the School of Dance as a whole.

Both Marsh and Hayes emphasized the power of efficient teamwork and quality team members in bringing the two projects closer to completion.

“Communication created a successful project,” Marsh said. “I put the owner, contractor and architect in the same room in the old Bank of America building. It was very transparent. I really feel our team has done a good job communicating with our end users.”

Hayes said that, when working on the Kaufman building, receiving input from the dance center’s sponsors helped guide the project towards a successful completion.

“We have a really good team, they work well together,” Hayes said. “The Kaufmans have been great; Glorya has been wonderful to work with. Everyone [from the beginning] believed that this building is special.”