UC Merced Opens First Build­ings Of Cam­pus Ex­pan­sion

The Oakdale Leader - - SPORTS -

Less than two years af­ter break­ing ground on its un­prece­dented cam­pus ex­pan­sion, the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Merced, re­cently cel­e­brated the open­ing of the first three build­ings of the Merced 2020 Project.

More than 400 peo­ple were on hand for an open­ing cel­e­bra­tion Thurs­day, Aug. 16 in­clud­ing UC Merced Chan­cel­lor Dorothy Le­land and UC Pres­i­dent Janet Napoli­tano. Le­land and Napoli­tano also met with stu­dents Fri­day, and vis­ited with more stu­dents and their fam­i­lies dur­ing move-in.

On Satur­day, Aug. 18, stu­dents moved into two brand-new, mixed-use res­i­dence halls, which fea­ture more than 700 beds in ad­di­tion to class­rooms and re­tail space.

“The ca­pac­ity we are build­ing right now will en­able our fu­ture,” Le­land said. “We will pro­vide world-class ed­u­ca­tion to more of the best and bright­est stu­dents from Cal­i­for­nia and be­yond. We will grow our fac­ulty thought­fully and strate­gi­cally to have the great­est pos­si­ble im­pact in our ar­eas of re­search ex­cel­lence. We will be­come a pow­er­house of in­no­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion for the San Joaquin Val­ley.”

At fi­nal de­liv­ery in 2020, the $1.3 bil­lion ini­tia­tive will com­prise 13 new build­ings fea­tur­ing new class­rooms, re­search labs and stu­dent life fa­cil­i­ties that will al­low the univer­sity to ac­com­mo­date up to 10,000 stu­dents.

The cen­ter­piece of the project, and the site of last week’s cel­e­bra­tion, is the Pavil­ion — an iconic 600-seat din­ing fa­cil­ity over­look­ing Lit­tle Lake. The Pavil­ion is com­ple­mented by two new res­i­dence halls that have been strate­gi­cally de­signed to form a pedes­trian-friendly cor­ri­dor that blends hous­ing with class­rooms, study lounges and stu­dent ac­tiv­i­ties.

The first phase ex­pands UC Merced’s abil­ity to pro­vide ac­cess to a world-class ed­u­ca­tion to more of Cal­i­for­nia’s best and bright­est stu­dents, and fu­ture phases will in­clude state-of-the-art lab­o­ra­to­ries to help fur­ther the univer­sity’s re­search mis­sion.

“We be­lieve in the power of ed­u­ca­tion to change lives and change the world for the bet­ter,” Napoli­tano said. “There is no bet­ter ex­am­ple of that than UC Merced, and this step marks a new chap­ter in the ex­pan­sion of that op­por­tu­nity.”

UC Merced opened in 2005 as the new­est mem­ber of the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia sys­tem, and is the youngest univer­sity to earn a Carnegie re­search clas­si­fi­ca­tion. The fastest-grow­ing pub­lic univer­sity in the na­tion, UC Merced en­joys a spe­cial con­nec­tion with nearby Yosemite Na­tional Park, is on the cut­ting edge of sus­tain­abil­ity in cam­pus con­struc­tion and de­sign, and sup­ports high­achiev­ing and ded­i­cated stu­dents from the un­der­served San Joaquin Val­ley and through­out Cal­i­for­nia.

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