Higher Education

The University of Arizona is preparing to convert some of the service spaces on the main level of the Student Union Memorial Center building to food service retail spaces. To facilitate this conversion, a study found that the sanitary sewer system needs to be enhanced to accommodate those additional flows. It has been recommended that a new sanitary sewer line and grease interceptor, draining to the north towards an existing sewer in Second Street, be added to serve the building. Situated among some of the oldest buildings on campus, the area around the Student Union Memorial Center is an environment rich with utilities including the utility service tunnel system, which makes design of new utilities challenging. The task of constructing a new sewer connection to the existing sewer in Second Street was further complicated by the pending construction of the Modern Street Car, which will also follow the Second Street alignment. With diligent research of the UA archives and exploration of the tunnels, we were able to identify an existing sewer connection in the vicinity that served the former Aerospace and Mechanical building that was demolished years ago.

Working in close collaboration with the UA Project Manager, it was determined that this sewer service line can be repurposed for this new SUMC application, thereby saving thousands of dollars. Scheduling the physical work from potholing (to inform design) to the final design and construction required working in concert with the school schedule such that certain activities take place during periods of light activity in this very busy pedestrian area.

Wood/Patel’s scope of services includes survey, data collection, utility investigation, preliminary schematic design, and coordination with the other professionals involved, sewer design development, and construction administration services.

Project Highlights

  • Area with high pedestrian traffic
  • Student Union renovation


Tucson, AZ


University of Arizona

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