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2010 Construction Projects
at UC San Diego Total $568 Million

January 13, 2010

By Rex Graham

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Architect's rendering of the Health Sciences Neighborhood Graduate and Professional Housing project (Credit: Allison Bernard)

More than 300 construction workers on Wednesday afternoon will celebrate with UC San Diego faculty, staff and students the “topping off” of the $67 million Health Services Graduate Student Housing complex. The project, consisting of 225 two-bedroom apartment units is scheduled to be completed in September 2010. The uniquely designed nine-story apartment development is one of six major projects under construction at UC San Diego this year, all of which are changing the skyline of the campus at a combined total cost of $568 million.

“An investment of $568 million would support roughly 16,200 jobs, including 5,500 onsite construction jobs,” said Kenneth Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. “The San Diego metro area has lost more than 26,000 construction jobs in the past three years and these projects will bring much needed work to a suffering industry while creating structures that will deliver value for decades.”

No state taxpayer funds are involved in five of the six projects.  Four student apartment projects will be financed with a total of $269.6 million in low-interest University of California bonds to be repaid by student housing fees, plus $7.1 million from campus housing reserve funds.

The fifth project, the $227 million UCSD Medical Center’s Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, is funded with $129.9 million in external financing, $38 million in gifts, $21.7 million from hospital reserves, and $37.7 million from capitalized leases.

The sixth project, the $65 million Medical Education and Telemedicine Center, will be paid for with $30 million in fundraising and debt financing and $35 million in state funds made available by Proposition 1D, a measure approved by California voters in 2006 that set aside $10.4 billion for public schools, community colleges and universities for construction and renovation, repairs of aging buildings and upgrades for labs and other scientific facilities.
With the San Diego construction industry slowed because of the recession, UC San Diego has secured highly competitive bids for all six projects from many of the top construction companies of the region. The construction companies, which will rely on hundreds of subcontractors, are projected to complete the projects on schedule in 2010 or 2011. Some projects are on track to be finished ahead of schedule.

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The Health Sciences Neighborhood Graduate and Professional Housing project (Credit: Webcor Builders Inc.)

Joining the employees of Webcor Builders and its Concrete Group at Wednesday’s celebratory barbeque at the Health Services Graduate Student Housing complex will be workers with CMC Fontana Steel, which provided 869 tons of reinforcing steel, and Vulcan Materials Company, which delivered 12,350 cubic yards of concrete.

“We are especially pleased that this major phase has been completed well ahead of schedule and that several upgraded design features have been added by the contractor without increasing the total project cost,” said Mark Cunningham, executive director of Housing, Dining and Hospitality Services for UC San Diego.

The next construction phase of the Health Services Graduate Student Housing project will involve dozens of subcontractors who will install interior walls, electrical lines and fixtures, plumbing, heating and other building elements and systems. The project will eventually accommodate 450 graduate students.

“It definitely helps to have UC San Diego active in a down economy,” said John Becarria, project director for Webcor Builders. “It’s a tough economy for sure and we’re really happy to be involved in this project. By the way, this structure will incorporate a very intriguing design. If it was just a box, it would be boring, but this structure is definitely not going to be boring.”

Like all new construction projects at UC San Diego, the Graduate Student Housing project will obtain, at a minimum,  LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) “Silver” certification. The project will incorporate high energy efficiency, low water usage, 90 percent stormwater capture, use of renewable and recyclable materials in the construction and other sustainability features. 

Because of the state of California’s fiscal crisis, planned construction of many state-funded projects on UC campuses has been suspended. Regardless of their source, construction funds cannot be mingled with the general campus funds that support the day-to-day operations, classes and other instructional programs. Even in this difficult environment, UC San Diego has continued to move forward with non-state funding on projects that are near completion, are essential to the mission of the campus or address seismic and other safety concerns.

“We would be remiss if we allowed this time of relatively inexpensive construction costs to pass by without completing these needed capital projects,” said Gary Matthews, vice chancellor of Resource Management and Planning. “Not only will more students spend less on housing and commuting, but more students living on campus should reduce traffic on nearby streets and highways.”

Student housing facilities had not kept up with UC San Diego’s 41 percent growth in enrollment from 1998 to 2008. The university’s Master Plan  adopted a goal to house 50 percent of eligible students in campus-owned facilities. However, in 2007-08 only 34 percent of the university’s 22,048 undergraduates were housed on campus.

“On-campus housing furthers UC San Diego’s and greater San Diego’s sustainability goals,” said Boone Hellmann, associate vice chancellor of design and construction and campus architect  for UC San Diego. “All of our new construction incorporates the latest energy- and water-conservation technologies. As a result, energy usage is increasing much slower than our overall growth and the per-square-foot consumption of water has decreased over the past four years throughout the entire campus from 56 gallons per square foot to 53 gallons per square foot. We plan to reduce that rate of consumption further in the coming years.”

Here are the current UC San Diego construction projects:

  • Health Sciences Neighborhood Graduate and Professional Housing (to be completed in fall 2010).
    The total project will cost $67.1 million. It will house approximately 452 unmarried graduate students in apartment units composed of two, three and four bedrooms.  This 164,454 assignable-square-foot project on 4.5 acres on the main campus is within the School of Medicine “neighborhood.” It will consist of a single building composed of two backward “L” shaped wings, one of seven stories and the other nine stories.  About 90 percent of the regularly occupied interior spaces will have a direct line of sight to outdoor environment. It will have a centralized reception area, administrative offices, conference and meeting rooms, fitness and laundry areas and other features, plus complementary outdoor spaces and a unique “green roof” that doubles as a social area. The rate (for 12 months) for the unfurnished apartments will be about $525 per month, per person in 2010-11.
  • The Village at Torrey Pines East (to be completed in spring 2011).
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    The Village at Torrey Pines East, which will be completed in spring 2011, will include 146 four-, five- and six-bedroom units that would accommodate 807 upper-division students. (Photo / Jamie Intervalo, UC San Diego)
    This project for undergraduate transfer students has a total cost of $97.7 million, of which external financing will be $95 million in UC bonds to be repaid by student housing fees, and $2.7 million will come from UCSD Housing reserves. It will include 146 four-, five- and six-bedroom units that would accommodate 807 upper-division students. It will include a small dining component that will consist of a marketplace and bistro/café, reception area, administrative offices, conference and meeting rooms, laundry, and maintenance spaces. The project will include one 13-story high rise building, four buildings at four stories each, and two at one story and one building at one story. The rate (for nine months) for the furnished apartments, which includes utilities, maid service, data, cable TV, utilities, programming and security will be about $875 per month, per person in 2011-12

  • UCSD Medical Center Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center and Expansion to Thornton Hospital (to be complete in April 2011).
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    The UCSD Medical Center Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center and Expansion to Thornton Hospital will unify UC San Diego’s ambulatory, clinical, and inpatient heart and stroke care in one convenient location. (Photo / Jamie Intervalo, UC San Diego)
    The total cost is $227 million, to be funded from $129.9 million in external financing, $38 million in gifts, $21.7 million from hospital reserves, and $37.7 million from capitalized leases. The four-story project near Thornton Hospital in La Jolla will unify UC San Diego’s ambulatory, clinical, and inpatient heart and stroke care in one convenient location.








  • UCSD Medical Education and Telemedicine Center (to be completed in May 2011).
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    UC San Diego’s Medical Education and Telemedicine Center will be completed in May 2011 and be used for physicians to learn new skills utilizing the latest advances in medical and surgical technology. (Photo / Jamie Intervalo, UC San Diego)
    The project cost is approximately $65 million, with $35 million from Prop 1D funding, and the remaining $30 million to be financed primarily through a combination of fundraising and debt financing. The approximately 60,000 square feet of assignable space will be a hub of learning that will incorporate state-of-the-art design and technology to prepare medical students to become physicians and innovators of tomorrow. It will also be used for physicians to learn new skills utilizing the latest advances in medical and surgical technology, such as surgical robotics. In addition, the new facility will be a regional and statewide center for new initiatives in tele-education and telemedicine to support improved health care access.
  • Revelle College Apartments (to be completed in summer 2011).
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    Revelle College Apartments, to be completed in summer 2011, will be a C-shaped building five, eight, and 10 stories in height. (Photo / Jamie Intervalo, UC San Diego)
    Total project cost is $69.4 million, of which $67 million in revenue bonds will be repaid by student housing fees, and $2.4 million will come from campus housing reserve funds. The project will include 510 student beds and six staff beds. This provides affordable housing for second-year students and a secondary target of upper-division students. The C-shaped building will be five, eight, and 10 stories in height. The rate (for nine months) for the furnished apartments, which includes utilities, maid service, data, cable TV, utilities, programming and security will be about $875 per month, per person in 2011-12.
  • Muir College Apartments (to be completed in summer 2011).
    Photo of
    The Muir College Apartments will be completed in summer 2011. (Photo / Jamie Intervalo, UC San Diego)
    The total project will cost $42.5 million, with $40.6 million coming from external financing and $1.9 million from housing reserves. UC revenue bonds used to finance the project will be repaid by student housing fees and campus housing reserve funds. The rate (for nine months) for the furnished apartments, which includes utilities, maid service, data, cable TV, utilities, programming and security will be about $875 per month, per person in 2011-12. (Photo / Jamie Intervalo, UC San Diego)

 

Media Contact: Rex Graham, 858-534-5952 or ragraham@ucsd.edu

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