Dear members of the UC Merced community,
I am writing to share some wonderful news about the 2020 Project. This ambitious proposal will expand campus facilities dramatically over the next four years to accommodate future enrollment growth.
At this morning’s meeting of the UC Board of Regents, the regents voted unanimously to approve the conceptual design submitted by Plenary Properties Merced (PPM), as well as the external financing necessary to fund the project. Construction on the next major phase of campus development, which will nearly double our physical capacity, should begin in October.
Our new facilities will rise on the opposite side of Little Lake, which will become the new visual centerpiece of the campus. Buildings will be highly efficient, flexibly designed and thoughtfully positioned to create a living-learning environment that enables routine interaction among faculty, students and staff. Aesthetically, the facilities will blend seamlessly with our existing structures, giving the campus a consistent look and feel throughout. All will meet or exceed LEED Gold standards for sustainability.
Artists’ renderings and much more information about classroom buildings, laboratories, recreational amenities, residential accommodations, a fabulous new dining complex and more will be discussed at the 2020 Project Campus Briefing for faculty and staff members on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Dr. Lakireddy Auditorium. Later that evening, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., a 2020 Project Community Forum will be held for our neighbors in the California Room. Parking for the community forum will be available in Lake Lot 1 and Lake Lot 2.
I can hardly find the words to express my excitement; it has taken four years of intense planning, negotiation and creativity by an extremely dedicated team to get to this joyous conclusion. We broke a lot of new ground in the process, but we never lost sight of the goal – to find a way forward at a time when traditional state funding for campus development simply was not available.
A project of this magnitude would not be possible were it not for all you have done to earn the trust and support of the regents, the Office of the President and the broader community we serve. This is your achievement and for that, this university and all of its future graduates will be forever grateful.
I sincerely thank and applaud everyone for all you do every day to make UC Merced a great research university.