Widgets Magazine

Trustees approve arts building sites, $438 million energy plan

The University Board of Trustees approved sites for two significant arts buildings, took action on seven other construction projects, approved a $438 million plan to shrink the school’s carbon footprint and discussed Occupy Stanford at its second meeting of the academic year.


“Arts district” expands


The trustees gave site and concept approval for the Anderson Collection to be located on the corner of Lomita Drive and Campus Drive West, north of the Cantor Arts Center. The collection, donated by Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson and Mary Patricia Anderson Pence includes 121 works of 20th-century American art by 86 artists and represents movements including Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Post-Minimalism, California Funk Art, Bay Area Figurative Art, Light and Space and contemporary painting and sculpture. Before their two-day meeting, the trustees visited the Anderson family and toured the collection, which includes some of the foremost examples of post-World War II American art and is one of the most valuable collections to be donated to a university.


The Board also approved a site for the $85 million, 96,000 square-foot Burton and Deedee McMurtry building, which will house the University’s art and art history departments, contributing to an expanding “arts district” near Cantor Arts Center in addition to the nearby Bing Concert Hall which is expected to be completed in 2013. The $30.5 million building for the Anderson Collection is expected to open in 2014, with the McMurtry building opening in the following year.


The expansion of the “arts district,” as University administrators have taken to calling it, is a significant milestone in the Stanford arts initiative.


New campus energy plan


The trustees granted design approval to the Campus Energy Systems Improvement project, which will ultimately replace the Cardinal Cogeneration plant and the existing electrical substation, decrease campus water consumption by 18 percent and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half–with a price tag of $438 million.


The new system will grant the University “more flexibility as the energy markets change in the future,” said Leslie Hume, chair of the Board of Trustees.


The system is expected to be completed midway through 2015 and would meet the University’s energy needs through 2050.


Under the design, the largest component of the University’s Energy and Climate Plan, Stanford will buy electricity via direct access to the energy market, build a new central energy facility to recover waste heat from the campus chilled-water system to meet the bulk of campus heating needs, convert the existing central-steam system to a more efficient hot-water system and build a new and expanded electrical substation.


Occupy Stanford


The Board also heard a report from Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) Chief Laura Wilson concerning University response to Occupy protests.


Hume said that Wilson spoke to the trustees about how she works with students “to try and make sure that they can protest and make their voices heard.”


“She takes free speech and [students’] power to protest very seriously and works with them to make sure they can do this in a safe way,” Hume said, noting that Wilson was present when Stanford students peacefully marched in solidarity with students from the University of California, Berkeley before the Big Game.


Reassurance in light of Penn State


The Board also spoke about Penn State, embroiled in controversy this fall following accusations of sexual abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Hume said the trustees reflected on lessons from the scandal and were eager to hear from administrators how Stanford cultivates a different environment.


“The trustees were interested in talking to the president and general counsel about what we at Stanford did to create and encourage a culture of responsibility and good citizenship–how we communicated our expectations and gave employees and faculty and staff a message that this is a place that takes ethics and responsibility seriously,” Hume said.


She added, “It was not a long discussion, but it was an important discussion.”


Law School update, lab renovations for School of Medicine


The Board also heard an update from Law School Dean Larry Kramer and Larry Marshall, director of the Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School, and toured the new William H. Neukom Building at Stanford Law School.


“It makes the law school a real law-school campus,” Hume said of the new building.


The trustees also gave concept approval for renovations of two buildings–3155 and 3165 Porter Drive–currently leased to the School of Medicine for research. The renovation costs for the two buildings are expected to be $19.5 million and $23.8 million, respectively.


Following renovations to modernize existing laboratories and convert office space, the buildings are expected to house the School of Medicine Sleep Center, the Department of Radiology, the Department of Genetics, the Stanford Genome Center and the Center for Personalized Medicine.