UC Merced recently hosted a presentation on August 11th where campus leaders discussed the 2020 project for the campus, which is set to begin construction immediately and deliver three phases of buildings by July 2019, with final completion in 2020. The presentation included details of the impact of this project not only in the community but in the surrounding regions as well. Speakers included Chancellor Dorothy Leland, long-term partners, and Project Developer and Executive Chairman from The Plenary Group, Dale Bonner. These presenters expressed their overall ideas for the project and answered questions from the audience.
This $1.3 billion design and construction budget project is set to begin in the Fall of 2016 and is set to be substantially completed in the Fall of 2020. The economic impact in the San Joaquin Valley is estimated to be $1.9 billion. The plan calls for local contractors and construction crews to be used at every stage of the project, ensuring that UC Merced continues to support its surrounding Merced community. The addition of 1.2 million gross square feet to the campus will allow the undergraduate population to increase from 6,700 to 10,000, creating an even more diverse and immersive environment for the UC Merced community. The expansion will consist of four parts, including Residential and Student Life, Operation, and Academics, all divided by a canal, and centered around Little Lake.
The development will not only expand the size of the campus, but also further our 2020 goals of creating zero net waste, zero net energy usage, and zero carbon dioxide emissions. New changes include a new academic walk, construction in Bellevue and Lake, as well as fencing, a temporary parking lot near North Bowl Lot that will have about 1,500 new parking spaces for staff and students, and finally, the placement of construction management trailers.
The long-term partnership with the Plenary group includes a three key part system. The first delivery is estimated to arrive in July 2018, second delivery in July 2019, and a substantial completion by July 2020. First delivery is projected to cover 161,000 assignable square feet (ASF) that will include 700 new student housing beds, and a 600-seat Dining Facility. The second delivery covers 150,800 ASF which will include a new wet laboratory building, and computational laboratory building with faculty offices, and an NCAA-II level outdoor competition field. And finally, the third completion includes 478,000 ASF with a new laboratory building with faculty offices and classrooms, 980 new student housing beds, 630 new parking spaces, a Conference Center, a dedicated Transit Hub for buses, a new Wellness Center, an Enrollment Center, an expansion of existing Early Childhood Education Center, a swimming pool, three tennis courts, and four basketball courts. In addition, the campus is planning to have five new lecture rooms, a ballroom, more pool entertainment, and a new Student Center.
This dynamic 24/7 work and play campus will continue with its sustainability goals while continuing to pursue higher education. Not only will the scale of this project create a large economic boon in the Central Valley, but it will also profoundly change the campus community.