On October 14th, UC Merced will officially break ground on their ambitious “2020” expansion project, which seeks to double the capacity of students at the campus after its four year construction. The anticipation for what’s to come is already stirring as students have already started discussion on what new features could be added to the campus. Already there have been details released on some of these new additions, some of which include a new 600 seat dining center, laboratory building for research and two complete olympic swimming pools, (a rumored favorite.)

In honor of this groundbreaking achievement, several students were asked what what would be the number one thing they would like to see come from the new expansion. Students were very willing to give their two cents on what should be added and it seems, most of the responses are food related:


Starbucks” –  Andrew Nguyen

“[A] restaurant like Panda Express.” – Guiovani Ocha

“…a dining hall with better food.” –  Jacky Perdomo

“More food options.” – Hongxi Su

“A Boba Place.” – Michelle Carter

“24 hour Starbucks close to campus.” – Mikey Mastalski


Food suggestions are probably most prominent as there is only one dining hall currently on campus along with two more snack shops located in Kolligian Library and The Marketplace located in the Summits housing area. The previously mentioned 600 seat dining center will seem to satisfy most palates, but there is currently no talk of leasing franchises on campus with the exception of the food tents outside of the Student Services building. So if students want to get a more commercial bite like Panda Express of Starbucks, downtown still remains the best option.

As for other suggestions they ranged from new housing facilities to recreational complexes such as a swimming pool. Perhaps the most pressing issue that students are concerned with is the campus’ current parking situation. Jacky Perdomo was one of the students who suggested this change since it has been reported that due to the growth of incoming freshman, many students have to live off-campus and commute to classes. This not only is increasing the traffic on the university roads, but is making it difficult for students to get to class on time. You can read more about this here and be sure to look for the Prodigy’s upcoming article about the new parking lot!

Comment below with what you think the school should add over the next four years and keep checking for more Prodigy 2020 updates!


Photo Credit: UC Merced


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