March 25, 2010
University of California Board of Regents accepts 10-year
capital improvement plan, which calls for more academic buildings,
research space and student housing
MERCED, Calif. — University of California Board of Regents
on Thursday accepted UC Merced’s 10-year, $1.129 billion capital
improvement plan, which will guide the university’s physical
expansion to serve more than 11,000 students by 2020.
The regents also authorized UC Merced to oversee and manage
construction projects that cost less than $60 million, part of a
pilot program to streamline the capital improvement process.
In the coming decade, UC Merced anticipates needing $519 million
for instruction and research buildings, $144 million for
infrastructure improvements and $131 million for student housing.
More than half of the funding may come from the state, while
external financing, campus funds and gifts will make up the balance.
“We need a significant infusion of funds in the next 10 years if
we are to grow at projected rates,” said Mary Miller, vice
chancellor for administration.
The capital improvement plan was written to support the
Strategic Academic Vision 2025(SAV). The SAV outlines how the
campus will grow its programs and course offerings over the next 15
years to continue with its mission to become a leading 21st-century
research university with a distinguished reputation for academic
excellence, cutting-edge research and community service.
Three campus buildings are in the midst of construction. Tenaya
Hall and Cathedral Hall, part of
The Summitshousing complex, will be home to some of next year’s
freshman class. Each building has four floors and was designed in
the traditional corridor style, with five bedrooms sharing a common restroom.
The Social Sciences and Management building, on the eastern edge
of campus, will add much-needed instructional space for fall 2011.
Even with these three buildings close to being completed, the
university is still in need of additional space for classes and
research, Miller said.
UC Merced anticipates investing $15 million to renovate space at
the Castle Commerce Center so it can be used for intensive research
projects. The campus also is also anticipating breaking ground soon
on the $85 million Science and Engineering Building II. The capital
improvement plan calls for the Castle renovation and building
construction in the 2010-11 academic year.
In the next decade, the university also has plans for three new
academic buildings, a multipurpose recreation field, more housing
and a student union building. (Any nonacademic buildings or
projects, under California law, can’t be built with state funds.
Students fees, gifts and external financing will be used for such projects.)
During the Board of Regents meeting Wednesday, UC Merced
Chancellor Steve Kang underscored the importance of continued
support from the Office of the President and outlined a three-year
strategy to ensure the university’s continued success. The strategy
includes UCOP’s assistance with increasing campus enrollment by 650
students each year through 2013-14 and continuing to seek ways to
provide much-needed additional instructional space for students and faculty.
“We are strategically positioning UC Merced to emerge from the
state’s economic downturn poised for robust growth,” Kang told the regents.