The UC Regents committee on Tuesday approved the project's final design plans as well as a final environmental impact report that was developed with public input following two hearings on campus. A vote by the full board is expected Thursday.
Construction on the seven-story building, which will include 25,000 square feet of meeting space and 250 guest rooms, is expected to begin next summer, with completion anticipated by 2016.
The $152 million center will be erected at the center of campus, on property currently occupied by Parking Structure 6, utilizing $40 million of a previously announced gift from alumni and longtime supporters Meyer and Renee Luskin. The remaining $112 million will be financed, but with minimal impact on UCLA's long-term debt. The project will be self-sustaining, officials stressed, not utilizing any state funds or tuition revenue.
Complete details are available at a website dedicated to the project.
Numerous faculty members have long expressed the need for such a facility on campus, describing the challenge of finding reasonably priced hotel rooms and adequate meeting space.
The center would not compete with local hotels for tourists and other business travelers because guests must have business with the university in order to book a room, similar to existing policies at the UCLA Guest House and Tiverton House, which offer a combined 161 rooms and are frequently at or near capacity.