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UC Santa Barbara to Purchase Privately Owned Student-Housing Complex

Friday, December 6, 2002 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

The University of California, Santa Barbara has made a successful offer to purchase the privately owned and operated Francisco Torres student-housing complex in Isla Vista from W9/Roy Real Estate LLC of New Town Square, Pennsylvania.

The transaction is expected to close later this month.

UCSB had made offers to purchase the complex on two previous occasions, most recently in 1999, but was outbid by private interests.

All of the costs associated with the purchase, renovation, and operation of the complex will be covered by fees that are paid by residents of UCSB student housing.

Built in 1966, the Francisco Torres residential complex has been affiliated with UCSB but has never been under the university's management or supervision. The complex is located on El Colegio Road at the intersection of Storke Road, just west of the main UCSB campus, and is situated on 19.23 acres of land. The facility includes two high-rise buildings -- one 10 stories tall and the other 11 stories -- with a total of 1,325 beds in 672 units. A dining commons, multipurpose rooms, and outdoor recreational areas are also included in the complex.

"In purchasing this property, we are making a strong commitment to the quality of life of our students," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "The university welcomes this opportunity to extend a full complement of academic and student-life services and programs to residents of this complex."

The university anticipates offering student-support services at the complex and will explore the possibility of scheduling courses and class discussion groups there.

"We've begun to focus more of our academic-advising efforts on first-year students, who traditionally have made up a majority of the residents of this complex," said Alan J. Wyner, dean of undergraduate studies in UCSB's College of Letters and Science. "Having a large number of first-year students concentrated in one place will make it possible for us to provide these services to them in a very efficient way."

The university will study the possibility of opening academic-advising offices in the residence complex during class registration periods to assist students in making course selections and planning their curricula. In addition, satellite offices of student-life services and programs might be established in the complex.

The property sits at the corner of a large parcel of land owned by UCSB that already is home to some university residential facilities as well as several athletic fields. The acquisition of Francisco Torres will provide a direct link between UCSB's West Campus and its main campus. UCSB anticipates working with local agencies to ensure a positive transition of ownership to the university.

The complex is expected to be fully integrated into UCSB's residence-hall system by fall 2003. "University ownership of this property will also allow for its incorporation into the campus residence-hall renewal and refurbishment program," said Everett Kirkelie, associate vice chancellor for administrative services. Work on repairs and upgrades may begin as early as summer 2003.