Higher education is always changing, continually demanding its facilities be modernized 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. Divided into four phases over 18 years (through approximately 2035), work is now getting way on the first two phases – including the construction of a Music, Worship & Theology building. Phases Three and Four will require additional City review, fundraising, and more detailed design work.
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, and we are working to begin construction of Phase One this summer. 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 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 will be added during Phase Two. This will allow the chapel to be able to seat 800, an increase of 300.
Athletic Field Restroom and Locker Building: This 6,730 square-foot building, located behind the softball field and built on two levels into the small hill adjacent to the track, will provide men’s and women’s locker rooms for use by student-athletes on our soccer, track, lacrosse, softball and baseball teams. It also will 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 will 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 will be added to the central campus, south of the existing gymnasium.
Phase Three: Estimated to begin sometime between 2020 to 2030, following additional City review.
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: This new building (approximately 49,000 square-feet) would accommodate state-of-the-art 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, located near the existing residence halls, would be 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.
Indicates New Buildings
Phase Four: Estimated for approximately 2025 to 2035 and requiring additional City review, 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 [email protected].
October 13, 2017
Dorm Road Realignment
Construction will be finalized at the end of the month with sidewalks being replaced, landscape finished, and the parking lot paved and striped.
Parking Lot A
Construction of the parking expansion continues on schedule. Landscaping continues, as well, along the slopes. The base for the parking lot is being laid, curb and gutter is being poured and the paving of the parking lot is scheduled for the end of the month, with completion soon after.
Music, Worship & Theology Building
Relocation of the underground utilities is underway. Replacement of the utility lines which include chilled water, domestic water, fire water, gas, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer, along with rough grading will take approximately three months barring any complications.
Public Road (Turtle Rock left turn)
The extension of the left-turn pocket at Turtle Rock and Concordia West is scheduled to begin next week. Barring any delays, estimated construction time is three weeks. Construction hours will be restricted to avoid interference with drop off and pick up schedules at University High School located around the corner.
September 26, 2017 – Construction Update
The remainder of the modular wetland installation, sidewalk repair and parking lot realignment is being completed this month. Following the completion of the paving and striping of the area where the previous driveway was located, landscaping will be completed. Final completion of work is expected in early October.
Construction of the parking expansion continues with the extension of the parking lot lighting and irrigation in the expanded lot. The retaining walls have been completed and irrigation and planting of the slopes will commence in October. The completion of the parking lot is anticipated at the end of October.
Demolition and rough grading for the Music, Worship & Theology building began in late August. Relocation of the underground utilities will commence shortly. Once the utilities have been relocated from the building pad area, excavation for the building pads will commence.
The extension of the left-turn pocket at Turtle Rock and Concordia West is scheduled to begin in mid- October. Construction hours will be restricted to avoid interference with drop off and pick up schedules at University High School located around the corner. More details will be forthcoming.
August 28, 2017 – Construction Update
Stop signs and road striping at Concordia between the East gate and Dorm Road have been completed. Final landscaping at the Dorm Road-Concordia intersection is being finished. The access drive for Parking Lot H (District Lot) from Concordia is being demolished while a new storm drain structure is placed, and the drive area is replaced with landscaping. Once completed in about two to three weeks, construction work in this intersection will be complete.
The new access drive into Parking Lot A (baseball lot) and the first two rows of parking have been reopened for Concordia’s use. Construction of the parking expansion continues with the placement of modular wetlands and the construction of retaining walls. Placement of underground utilities for the parking lot is continuing.
Demolition and rough grading for this building is scheduled to begin August 25.
August 14, 2017 – Construction Update
The majority of the construction on Dorm Road will be complete in time for the start of classes on August 21st. Landscaping and the closure of the existing District Lot will follow the completion of work on Dorn Road.
The widened access to the parking lot will be complete by August 21st with landscaping to follow. Parking in the first two rows will open to CUI faculty and students at this time.
Parking Lot A Expansion
For the next few weeks, construction in the Parking Lot A expansion will be focused on the new retaining walls. Construction is scheduled to be completed in October, at which point the lot will be open to construction parking and traffic only.
Demolition and grading of the building site is scheduled to begin the week of August 21st.
Special Assigned Parking
To reduce the parking demands on our existing lots, a few dozen staff members have been assigned parking on the practice field for the duration of the construction. Unless you have a special permit and an assigned space, please do not park on the field.
August 7, 2017 – Construction Update
The new access drive from Parking Lot H (District lot) to Dorm Road has been completed. Relocating the access drive to Parking Lot E is progressing and on schedule for completion within the next two weeks. The shifting of Dorm Road at the intersection is also nearing completion. Once the Dorm Road intersection is complete, the access drive to the District lot will be closed, replanted, and the new striping for a left turn lane and new stop sign at Ascension will be done.
The new access drive into Parking Lot A (Baseball lot) and the front half of the parking lot will be open for CUI parking by August 18, in time for the first day of classes on August 21. Irrigation and landscaping for the front half of the parking lot will follow starting August 21. The retaining walls for the parking lot expansion have started this week and will last approximately two to three weeks. Underground utilities in this area (storm drain, electrical, irrigation) are in process.
Music, Worship & Theology Building
Tree removal and fencing has been completed and preparation for demolition and grading is underway. Preparation for grading to commence is continuing.
July 20, 2017 – Construction Update
The final grading permit for the Music, Worship and Theology Building was received this week.
Demolition, tree removal and grading has started on the following projects:
Fencing around the construction zones is being installed and the re-routing of the bike trail is marked with signs.
To maintain the schedule that insures that the Dorm Road / Concordia intersection is fully operational before students return for the Fall semester, work may be scheduled for a Saturday or two. All hours of work will adhere to the Construction Staging and Management Plan which meets or exceeds the City regulations for construction hours.
A new link from the CUI main website to the consolidated athletics department calendar of events has been added for convenience. The main webpage will continue to list upcoming events under “Featured Events.”
July 7, 2017 – Construction Update
Construction permits were recently issued by the City of Irvine for the following projects. Construction has begun and heavy equipment is anticipated to be arriving around July 13 for:
A grading permit for the Music, Worship & Theology building has cleared technical requirements, and is expected to be issued soon so that grading for this new building can begin.
Work hours are limited by the Construction Staging and Management Plan which can be found on Concordia University Irvine’s construction update section on www.cui.edu/adapt&improve. From this web page, you can also opt in to receive construction updates via email, and view maps of construction sites.
To see a list of upcoming events on campus that may also impact traffic, visit www.cui.edu. To view the athletics department calendar of events, visit www.cuieagles.com.
June 12, 2017 – Construction Update
With recent unanimous approval from the Irvine City Council, we are in final approvals on our permits and will tentatively begin construction on Monday, June 26 for Phase One Dorm Road realignment, Parking Lot A expansion, Turtle Rock left-turn lane, and the Music, Worship & Theology building. If you're a homeowner association manager, board member, or representative and would like to help us spread the word about how residents can stay up to date on the progress (through HOA e-newsletters, emails, etc.), here's information that you can share:
This summer, Concordia University Irvine will begin work on the first phase of its recently approved Master Plan. To help you plan ahead for potential traffic delays, answer FAQs and more, the University has created a website that offers weekly construction updates--www.cui.edu/Adapt&Improve.
From the web page, you can also opt in to receive construction updates via email. Keep in mind that weather conditions may alter the construction schedule. When that happens, we will do our best to post online updates. Concordia is working with its builder, Snyder Langston, to limit large construction vehicle traffic (concrete trucks, steel deliveries, cranes, and earth moving equipment) between the hours of 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday, none on Saturdays. There is no work scheduled on Sundays.
To see a list of upcoming events on campus that may also impact traffic, visit www.cui.edu. On the bottom half of the landing page in the middle, under "featured events," you'll find a chronological list of upcoming university events on campus. Scroll for more events, and click the events for hours. Keep in mind, with school not in session during summer break, the events calendar is lighter than normal.
To view the athletics department calendar of events, visit www.cuieagles.com. Scroll just past the fold where, on the left, under "Eagles Nest" and events, you can find a schedule for home and away games.
May 30, 2017 – Here’s What’s Happened Since City Council Approval
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?
You 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. And if you’re still on the campus for the Fall 2019 semester, you might be among the first students to benefit from the from the great new facilities in the Music, Worship & Theology building.
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 will occur after the 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.
Will the proposed Master Plan improvements affect current tuition or dorm costs?
Will my student benefit from the proposed Master Plan revisions?
Students 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. If your Concordia student is still on the campus for the Fall 2019 semester, he or she might be among the first students to benefit from the from the great new facilities in the Music, Worship & Theology building.
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, starting on page 238.
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 protected].
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.