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August 2013 Update

Update on 2020 Project

August 27, 2013

 

Campus colleagues:

Through the first portion of this year and through the summer, we have laid the groundwork to move forward with the development of the 2020 Project and other near-term campus development needs. I am pleased to share a summary of the progress we have made and to update you on upcoming activities as we continue to move forward.

As a reminder, the 2020 Project includes the facilities needed to support an enrollment level of 10,000 students, including academic, administrative, research, recreational buildings, student residences, student services buildings, utilities, infrastructure, outdoor recreation areas, and associated roadways, parking and landscaping.  

UC Merced’s greatest challenge for enrollment growth, both graduate and undergraduate, is sufficient and timely capital development. The campus is faced with a growing gap between strong student demand and the campus’s limited capacity to provide the capital and infrastructure needed to support that demand. Development of the facilities necessary to accommodate 10,000 students is critical to the success of the Merced campus, its economic viability and to the ability of the University of California to provide access to eligible students.

2020 Project

In May 2013, the UC Regents approved an amendment to the UC Merced 2009 Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP) to create a planning framework that identifies a Central Campus District and adds a new “Campus Mixed Use” (CMU) designation that would provide greater land use flexibility to design and deliver a master-planned development.  The CMU designation includes 219 acres, which includes the current 104-acre site and adjacent areas immediately to the east of campus. The campus anticipates developing its Phase 2 facilities (2020 Project) within the boundaries of the CMU, a reduction of 136 acres as compared with the campus’s original 2009 LRDP. 

To accomplish our development objectives, our Campus Physical Planning Committee (CPPC) will be a key forum for discussion.  In addition, our development team will hold individual stakeholder meetings and several interdisciplinary charrettes during the Fall Semester.

Role of the CPPC

The committee provides advice to the chancellor with respect to the physical and capital development of UC Merced and the university community. The CPPC is responsible for making recommendations to the chancellor regarding major physical and capital improvement decisions for on and off-campus development.

With this charge in mind, our development team will provide updates to the CPPC about progress on all of our development projects, including the 2020 Project. This forum will provide the opportunity for the representatives of campus stakeholder groups to provide comment and opinion to Chancellor Leland.  In turn, Chancellor Leland, together with the executive vice president for Business Operations and chief financial officer at the Office of the President will make recommendations to the president.

For a roster of the committee, please visit: http://capital.ucmerced.edu/cpcc/roster

Introduction of development team

The 2020 Project and the associated life-cycle costs of the facilities we plan to develop will be one of the most defining aspects of the business model for this campus over the next several decades.  As such, we recognized the need to develop a strong and diverse internal project team and to hire strong commercial real estate expertise to add to our talented on-campus staff to help lead us through the process of real estate development.

Earlier this year, we hired Bill Hvidt from The Hvidt Group to be our in-house commercial real estate developer for the 2020 Project and other related real estate matters. Bill brings significant commercial real estate development experience to our campus, having served in senior leadership positions for large commercial real estate firms in the Silicon Valley over the past three decades. Many of us who have had the opportunity to meet and work with Bill agree that he has added significant value and leadership to the 2020 Project. 

Over the past several weeks, Bill has led weekly coordination meetings among a team comprised of various units focused on real estate matters on campus. This group has included representatives from Academic Facilities Planning; Capital Finance & Space Management; Design & Construction; Facilities Management; Physical & Environmental Planning; and Student Life.  This group also maintains important linkages to the CPPC Subcommittee on Academic Facilities Planning and to the strategic academic focusing initiative led by Provost Tom Peterson.

During this summer, we solicited teams of development services consultants to assist the campus prepare and execute a procurement process for the 2020 Project. We were pleased to receive high quality responses from a large number of talented teams, including some of the most experienced firms in the world in both traditional and innovative forms of project procurement and delivery. In the next several months, our selected team will assist the campus with program development, infrastructure analysis, project delivery options, development of the finance plan and development of our Request for Qualifications. 

I am pleased to announce that we engaged a team led by Jones Lang LaSalle, in partnership with AECOM and Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Background information on these firms can be found at http://www.joneslanglasalle.com/,  http://www.aecom.com/and http://www.scb.com/.

Preparation of Request for Qualifications

The next several months will be a busy time on campus as we prepare for the release of a Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) for development teams. An important part of the development of the RFQ will include the development of a program that includes the necessary academic, administrative, research, recreational and student services spaces; student residences; utilities and infrastructure; associated roadways; parking; and outdoor recreation areas.

The Development Team will meet with and engage the campus community through small charrettes where we will focus on identifying the needs of the campus and stakeholder interests in a holistic manner. We have identified approximately 30 groups for this first wave of meetings. This initial wave of meetings is intended to ensure all campus stakeholders are provided with the same opportunity to voice their vision, needs, desired adjacencies, concerns and areas of ongoing interest.

Later this week, we will distribute information to a lead contact for each of these groups to advise them of the meeting schedule and the topics each group should come prepared to discuss. We encourage broad participation from each group in these initial meetings, as a robust dialogue will enhance the value of the time and the information provided. The development team plans to start these meetings during the week of Sept. 9.  The list of groups identified has been posted to the 2020 Project website.

The information received in the first wave of meetings will be used to help develop macro programs for each of the 2020 Project elements, evaluate development strategies and analyze our campus’s infrastructure requirements and sustainability objectives. 

In November, we plan to conduct a second wave of interdisciplinary charrettes. In this second wave of meetings, the data developed in the first wave of charrettes will be discussed with larger groups made up of a combination of the participants from the initial groups, where the details of the specific needs for the various space types, schools, campus programs, student services, campus wide initiatives and systems will be developed and then integrated in a holistic manner to develop the overall program for the 2020 Project. A broad set of campus stakeholders will be invited to participate in each of the charrettes.

Following the interdisciplinary charrettes, the development team will be prepared to discuss their recommendations about our procurement strategy with the CPPC and to draft and finalize the RFQ document.

Communication with the 2020 Project Team

The development challenges we collectively face require us, as a campus community, to work collaboratively together to meet our collective objectives. As we develop the 2020 Project, we want to establish an inclusive, team-oriented process that is also focused on moving forward with project development on a timely basis. Our development team will post additional information about the project, as it becomes available. 

We have established a website with information about the 2020 Project. The website can be found at http://2020project.ucmerced.edu/.  In addition, we created an email address that will distribute inquiries or questions about the project to the development team. Inquiries and questions about the 2020 Project can also be sent to ucmerced2020@ucmerced.edu.

Sincerely,

Dan M. Feitelberg
Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget
University of California, Merced