Urban Land Institute issues set of recommendations to guide expansion of UC Merced’s much-needed physical capacity over the next eight to 10 years
As announced in September, 2012, UC Merced retained the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to help identify the most cost-efficient and programmatically effective means of expanding the campus’s physical facilities to accommodate 10,000 students, along with associated faculty and staff, within the next eight to 10 years.
The impetus for this initiative was a growing gap between strong student demand for enrollment at UC Merced and the campus’s physical capacity to accommodate that demand. The steady erosion of state funding for capital development in recent years has slowed the pace of campus construction and led university leadership to seek creative ways to add capacity, either on or off campus, at lower cost than initially planned. Additional background is available at Chancellor Dorothy Leland’s op-ed, “Some initial ideas conceived for UC Merced expansion” (Sept. 21, 2012).
The ULI final report is now available at here for download. It includes a set of recommendations and guiding principles designed to move UC Merced quickly and efficiently toward its medium-term capacity objective of 10,000 students while lowering development costs, ensuring programmatic continuity, supporting sustainability goals, enhancing relations with the Greater Merced community and leveraging the university’s distinctive qualities.
While some of the recommendations, such as financing alternatives, could have longer-term relevance, the report itself focuses only on development over the next eight to 10 years.
Chancellor Dorothy Leland is working with the UC Office of the President on identifying the steps that now must be taken to pursue several key ULI recommendations, most importantly the recommendation to leverage private capital and other resources that may be available to us from potential development partners.
Updates on any decisions related to these recommendations, including potential modifications to the university’s long-range development plan (LRDP), will be provided periodically by campus leadership.