November 17, 1997
1997-98 a busy year for campus construction
By Francine Tyler
The campus will hum with construction activity later this school year,
as a number of major projects get under way in the upcoming spring and summer.
Nine projects, including a new fitness center, apartments for students, improvements to the arts facilities, and a graduate commons and expanded bookstore, are under way or are scheduled to start toward the end of the fiscal year.
Frank Zwart, assistant vice chancellor for physical planning and construction,
attributes the increased construction activity to growth in UCSC enrollments
over the last several years. "It's exciting," said Zwart. "We have the opportunity
to make some very fine improvements to the campus."
The following is a list of construction projects that are currently under way or are scheduled
to begin this academic year.
- College Nine Apartments:
Construction is scheduled to start this spring on the College Nine Apartments,
which will be located north of the existing College Nine and Ten academic
buildings. The apartments will house 270 undergraduate students when complete
in fall 1999.
- Applied Sciences Building:
Crews will start work this spring on the first phase of alterations to
spaces in the Applied Sciences Building. These alterations are designed
to prepare the building for occupancy by the new Jack Baskin School of
Engineering. The $4-million project is expected to be completed in spring
- OPERS Fitness Center:
Crews will break ground this spring on a 10,600-square-foot weight training
and fitness center for the Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and
Sports. Approved by student voters in the spring 1996 elections,
the $4-million facility will offer state-of-the-art exercise equipment.
Construction is expected to be completed in spring 1999. The project also
includes improvements to the upper east playing field, swimming pool lighting,
and storage and maintenance buildings.
- Improvements to the arts facilities:
Construction is under way in the $14.3-million Improvements to the Arts
project. The project includes four art studios, art support space, and
the expansion of a woodshop at Baskin Visual Arts; a 400-seat general
assignment lecture hall and 200-seat teaching lab/experimental theater
at the Performing Arts Center; and the addition of faculty offices, an
electronic music studio, and a gamelan studio at the Music Center. Also
included in the project are renovations of the Performing Arts Center,
which will occur as new construction is completed. The project is
expected to be finished next fall.
- Student Communications System:
Work is under way on the second phase of the $8.1 million Student Communications
System. The network of fiber optic and high-speed copper cables (dubbed
SlugNet) will link computers to UCSC's computer network and provide telephone
service in all campus residential areas when the work is finished in September
1999. In the project's first phase, Cowell, Crown, Merrill, and Stevenson
College and Crown/Merrill Apartments were brought onto SlugNet. Included
in the second phase are Porter, Oakes, and College Eight, which will link
to SlugNet next fall. In fall 1999, Kresge, Graduate Housing, and Family
Student Housing will follow.
- Marine Discovery Center:
Construction is under way on the $4.4-million Marine Discovery Center,
a gift-funded facility designed with a 1,300 square-foot marine sciences teaching lab
and 15,000 square feet of exhibit, aquarium, auditorium, meeting, and office
space next to Long Marine Lab. The project is scheduled to be finished
in fall 1998.
- Bay Tree Bookstore expansion and Graduate Commons:
Crews are scheduled to break ground this upcoming summer on the 6,600 square-foot
commons and 30,000 square-foot bookstore expansion. The commons will offer
office and recreational space for graduate students and a small restaurant
and will be located near the Upper Quarry entrance. A new wing of the bookstore,
with office and meeting space for the Division of Student Affairs, will
be located across the parking lot from the exising bookstore, with a pedestrian
plaza in between. The projects, together totaling $13.5-million, are expected to be completed
in spring 2000.
- Coolidge Drive:
This upcoming summer, work crews will begin making improvements to the area of Coolidge
Drive near Campus Facilities. These improvements include widening the road
to provide left-turn pockets, adding improved transit pullouts and shelters,
realigning a section of the bike path, and paving a portion of the Blacksmith
Shop access road.
- UC MBEST Center:
Work will also begin this summer on the UC MBEST Center Initial Facility,
which will provide offices for MBEST administrative staff
and space for future tenants. The MBEST Center is located at the former
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