Higher education is always changing, continually demanding more of its facilities so students will benefit from better educational experiences. With our Master Plan revisions unanimously approved by the Irvine City Council, Concordia University Irvine is moving forward to Adapt & Improve our campus.
Learn more here about the future of our campus, check in regularly for construction updates, and sign up to receive construction alerts.
Pictured are actual members of the Concordia family. From left to right: Andy, Berenice, Tom
Name: Andrew Grimalda
Title: Professor, School of Business
Born & Raised: California
Military: Ret. Army Colonel in various units including the elite Army Rangers
Education: B.S., U.S. Military Academy, West Point; M.S. in Management, Sloan School of Management, M.I.T.
Factoid: Established both the Economics and Data Analytics majors at CUI’s School of Business. He’s also an assistant coach to the university’s award-winning speech and debate team.
Extra Credit Fact: Before the classroom, Professor Grimalda worked the boardroom as a CFO to national companies in the tech and healthcare industries.
Name: Berenice Samperio
Year @ CUI: Freshman
Born & Raised: Mexico City
Campus Activities: Goalie on the CUI women’s water polo team
CUI Likes: “I notice a lot of hardworking students, and most of them are athletes like me, so I find it easy to be motivated to work harder, when everyone else around me is working hard, too.”
Name: Tom Mueller
Title: Assistant Professor of Church Music; university organist
Born & Raised: Waterville, Maine
Lives in: Tustin
Education: Masters, Sacred Music in Organ Performance, University of Notre Dame; Doctorate, Musical Arts in Organ Performance, Eastman School of Music
Factoid: In addition to church music, Dr. Mueller also teaches music theory and composition, and is credited with establishing the Americana Ensemble at CUI, the only university-level bluegrass and traditional music ensemble on the West coast.
We will keep you posted on upcoming construction on the campus.
Follow Construction Updates
Irvine is known for its commitment to excellence in education, which is built on four components: An excellent K-12 school system, an excellent community college, an excellent University of California campus, and an excellent private four-year university, Concordia University Irvine. All of Irvine’s educational institutions must Adapt & Improve over time to meet changing needs in education and maintain the City’s reputation for educational excellence. Concordia University’s new Master Plan will let it stay abreast of changes in higher education – and maintain the educational excellence Irvine expects.
Phasing: The implementation of the Master Plan is phased. Phases One and Two have been approved by the City of Irvine, so we hope to begin construction of Phase One this summer, completing the Phase about 18 months later. Subsequent phases will require additional City review, fundraising, and more detailed design work. Work on the final phase is not expected to be completed until 2035 at the earliest.
Indicates New Buildings and Improvements
Phase One: Scheduled to begin in 2017, following consideration of the plan by the Irvine Planning Commission and City Council. As proposed, it will include:
New Music, Worship & Theology building: This proposed 38,550 square-foot building will have two wings with a breezeway connecting them. One wing will have group and individual music rehearsal and practice rooms with outstanding acoustics and a state-of-the-art recording studio; the other will house classrooms and faculty offices for Christ College, Concordia University’s school of theology. Between the buildings will be an Arts Court, providing an exterior gathering location for students and staff.
Internal circulation improvements: Phase 1 will include these road improvements to make driving safer and help traffic to flow better within the campus:
Expansion of Concordia West parking lot: Parking Lot A, in the southwest portion of the campus near the baseball diamond, will be expanded by 158 spaces.
Initial Athletic Field Lighting: Concordia University’s athletic programs are moving up to NCAA Division II in 2017, so the temporary lights currently used at the athletic fields are being upgraded. Improved permanent lighting will allow team practices to be scheduled later in the day, making academic scheduling for athletes easier. Lights fall only on the playing fields and “spill-over” lighting and glare will be avoided. Additionally, we have agreed to install only the first 15 light poles during Phases One and Two, and have agreed to “lights off” at 9 p.m.
Phase Two: Anticipated to start in 2018, will include:
Concordia University Center Addition: Friday Chapel services held at CU Center for students during the Fall and Spring semesters are currently standing room only, so a modest 3,300 square-foot addition to the facility is proposed. This will allow the chapel to be able to seat 800, an increase of 300.
Athletic Field Restroom and Locker Building: This proposed 6,730 square-foot building, located behind the softball field and built on two levels into the small hill adjacent to the track, would provide men’s and women’s locker rooms for use by student-athletes on our soccer, track, lacrosse, softball and baseball teams. It would also include two smaller locker rooms for coaches and officials, and public restrooms.
Track and Soccer Field Viewing Deck: A viewing deck on the west side of the restroom and locker room building would provide bleacher seating for fans of track, lacrosse, and soccer events to the south and softball to the north.
Sand Volleyball Courts: Two NCAA regulation-size sand volleyball courts are proposed in the central campus, south of the existing gymnasium. For information on the courts’ lighting, see the discussion of athletic field lighting under Phase One.
Phase Three: Estimated to begin sometime between 2020 to 2030.
In order to add Phase Three’s planned new education and dorm buildings without exceeding the limits imposed on Concordia by the City, five existing buildings totaling 43,760 square feet will be demolished during this phase.
Science, Nursing and Health Care Building: To keep up with advances in the teaching of science and health care, this new building (approximately 49,000 square-feet) would accommodate state-of-the-art science classrooms, offices, and labs for Concordia University’s nursing, biology, chemistry, physics, and medical science programs. It would be located where the Administration Building now stands.
Grimm Student Union Building Addition: This expansion of approximately 8,500 square feet to the existing Grimm Student Union Building will allow Concordia University to provide more of the amenities that college students now expect, including enhanced cafeteria operations, a book/convenience store, counseling, and student lounge areas.
New Residence Hall: This new residence hall would be located between the existing Concordia University residence halls and the Grimm Student Union. It will have no more than 296 beds, which would bring the total beds on campus to 1,320, the maximum allowed in the current Master Plan.
Recreation/lap pool and pool service/restroom building: This pool, which will be located near the existing residence halls, is for recreational use only and cannot accommodate swim meets or water polo matches. The adjoining 2,800 square-foot pool building would house pool equipment and restrooms.
Tennis court deck: Four existing tennis courts on the campus would be removed to allow for the construction of the new residence hall and replaced with six tennis courts that would be built on a roof structure over part of Parking Lot A in the southwestern portion of the campus. For information on the courts’ lighting, see the discussion of athletic field lighting under Phase One.
Indicates New Buildings
Phase Four: Estimated for approximately 2025 to 2035, this phase will include:
In order to add Phase Four’s planned new building without exceeding the limits imposed on Concordia by the City, two existing buildings totaling 27,471 square feet will be demolished during this phase.
Liberal Arts, Alumni and Advancement Building: This new building of approximately 40,000 square feet would be located generally where Founders Hall now stands. It will house offices for liberal arts professors, as well as administration, advancement and alumni relations offices. To enhance the arts experience at Concordia University, the three-level building would provide a 400-seat theater for performances. To respond to concerns of neighbors, the size of the theater was reduced by half.
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To sign up for Construction Updates, go to Questions/Comments and check the “Send me construction updates” box. To file a construction-related complaint, call (949) 214-3142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since final City Council approval for our campus construction plans was received on May 9, 2017, we have been busy preparing for the start of construction.
If you have any questions or haven’t yet signed up for construction updates, please visit our Questions/Comments section.
If you have any questions or haven’t yet signed up for construction updates, please go to our Questions/Comments page.
Click on any of the questions below to view the answer. If you don’t see your question on the list, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Will any of the proposed revisions be in place soon enough to benefit me?
If you are a senior, the only benefit will be knowing that Concordia University will continue to be a well-respected center of learning, Adapting & Improving so future students will be attracted by all it offers. Others will begin to see changes with the Fall 2017 semester as construction of internal road and parking improvements begin, and construction of the Music, Worship & Theology building gets underway.
When will the new Music, Worship & Theology building open?
The new Music, Worship and Theology building could open as soon as the late Fall of 2018 (16-18 months after construction commences).
Will the proposed Master Plan revisions affect current tuition or dorm costs?
No. A separate fundraising effort is underway to raise all the money needed to fund these improvements.
How will construction affect my classes and campus life?
Construction will occur in phases, over time. Only Phase One improvements are currently funded, so construction will begin shortly. Other than sidewalk re-routings and some construction noise, you should experience no changes to normal campus life.
What happened to the proposed traffic signal at Ridgeline and Concordia East?
The proposed traffic signal at Ridgeline Drive and Concordia East was delayed with Concordia’s concurrence after many Turtle Rock neighbors expressed concern that the signal would exacerbate existing congestion. Consideration of the signal by the City Traffic Commission will occur in concert with the planned City improvements to the University Drive/Ridgeline Drive intersection. Concordia believes the signal will improve safety and traffic flow at the Ridgeline Drive/Concordia East intersection and continued its commitment to fully fund the installation of the signal, should the City determine it is needed.
Will the proposed Master Plan improvements affect current tuition or dorm costs?
Will my student benefit from the proposed Master Plan revisions?
If your student is a senior, the only benefit will be knowing that Concordia University will continue to be a well-respected center of learning, Adapting & Improving so future students will be attracted by all it offers. Others will begin to see changes with the Fall 2017 semester, as construction of internal road and parking improvements begin, and construction of the Music, Worship & Theology building gets underway.
The proposed traffic signal at Ridgeline Drive and Concordia East was delayed with Concordia’s concurrence after many Turtle Rock neighbors expressed concern that the signal would exacerbate existing congestion. Consideration of the signal will occur after planned City improvements to the University Drive/Ridgeline Drive intersection are completed. Concordia believes the signal will improve safety and traffic flow at the Ridgeline Drive/Concordia East intersection and continued its commitment to fully fund the installation of the signal, should the City determine it is needed.
Why is Concordia University proposing these changes to its Master Plan?
We are the fourth leg of Irvine’s educational excellence: an excellent K-12 school district, an excellent community college, an excellent University of California campus, and Concordia University Irvine, an excellent private university. From kindergarten to graduate school, all educational institutions must Adapt & Improve to meet challenging and changing demands placed on educational facilities, which is why we have updated our Master Plan to create venues for hands-on learning environments that our initial campus buildings cannot accommodate adequately through renovation.
What have you done to address neighbors’ concerns?
Working with the City Council and our neighbors, we agreed to many changes to our plan and a comprehensive program of monitoring and reporting throughout the construction period and thereafter. (For details on monitoring and reporting, see the next question.)
Changes made to address neighbors’ concerns include:
How can neighbors be certain that Concordia University Irvine will keep its commitments?
All the commitments made during the Planning Commission and City Council hearings were incorporated into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City that outlines our commitments, how compliance will be monitored, and penalties the city can impose if we fall short of any measure.
The provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding are:
View the Memorandum of Understanding and scroll down to page 238 for more information.
What will be done during construction to reduce impacts on neighbors?
When construction is underway, we will comply with the City of Irvine’s rules regarding start and stop hours, dust and noise suppression, and construction traffic and parking restrictions. It is important to remember that construction will be phased, so rather than being ongoing, we expect there will be periods between phases when no construction will be occurring. Also, some construction will occur far from some neighboring residents.
How do I get construction information or make a construction-related complaint?
To get construction updates, go to the Questions/Comments page and click the “Send me construction updates” box. To file a construction-related complaint, call (949) 214-3142 or email email@example.com.
How much will the campus grow under the proposed Master Plan revisions?
We have committed to stay within the limitations currently imposed by Concordia University’s existing Master Plan – no more than 321,220 square feet of educational buildings (designated “Institutional” in Irvine’s zoning) and no more than 1,320 dorm beds. Currently, the campus’s educational buildings total 243,571 square feet, and there are 1,024 dorm beds. Some older buildings will be demolished to make room for new ones, bringing the total square footage of educational buildings to the allowed 321,220 square feet. We are also proposing to add one new dorm building, which will bring the total bed count to the allowed 1,320.
How much more traffic will be generated by the proposed master Plan revisions?
The Environmental Impact Report’s traffic count studies were conducted in October 2014 and April 2015, on days and times reflecting normal Concordia University Fall and Spring semester traffic, and during a Spring weekend with multiple events scheduled on campus. The traffic counts showed the university currently generates approximately 4,732 average daily trips (ADT), with 360 ADT during the morning peak hour (8 to 9 a.m.) and 421 ADT in the afternoon peak (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.). Concordia committed that average daily trips will not rise above this level during Phases One and Two.
What is being done to address projected increases in traffic?
According to the City’s EIR, “The recommended improvements at the intersection of Ridgeline Drive/University Drive for future scenarios, which are consistent with the City’s proposed intersection improvement project, would address the proposed project’s impact under the Existing Plus Project traffic analysis scenario.” In addition to paying the university’s fair share for the proposed improvements at the Ridgeline Drive/University Drive intersection, the Master Plan update includes an additional outgoing traffic lane from Concordia East. A traffic signal at Ridgeline Drive and Concordia East will be evaluated by the City after the completion of the Ridgeline Drive/University Drive intersection improvements are completed.