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Design Features

A New Social Heart for the University of California, Merced

At night, the Central Dining Facility transforms into a “social lantern" and a hub of activity.

The Future Merges Living and Learning

A mixed-use classroom/residential building along 'Academic Walk' will open in 2018.

A Compact Land Use Plan Designed to Nurture Innovation

Urban design strategies reaffirm our teaching, research and public service goals.  

Flexible, Resilient Design

Since 2005, UC Merced has been enriching lives, communities and scholarship. This comprehensive once-in-a-generation expansion is designed to continue that mission by enhancing student life and expanding access to the University.  

Construction will be completed in three phases between 2018 and 2020. As the designs evolve, they will follow key principles, including connectivity to the existing campus, creating places for people to gather and sustainability.

When the project is complete in Fall 2020, UC Merced will address critical exising needs and have the physical capacity to expand access to the University for California students.  In addition, the choice of materials, the arrangement of facilities and the applied operations and maintenance strategy will be done strategically to ensure long-term flexibility as UC Merced's academic mission evolves. This will expand the reach of the campus's mission of teaching, research and public service.  

Click here to download the Project Map (PDF)

The 2020 Plan

The land-use-planning approach is compact and addresses multiple needs.

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Teaching and Research Facilities

New classrooms, research laboratories and student-focused spaces will support the university’s goals of promoting interaction and collaboration across disciplines.

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Student Housing 

1,700 new beds for student residents will be arranged into a mixed-use living-learning environment.

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Student Life, Recreation and Athletics

The plans include expanded dining options, a wellness center, space for student organizations, groups and clubs, an expansion of the Early Childhood Education Center, a new competition level pool, a competition-level field, recreational fields as well as basketball and tennis courts.

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Mobility and Parking

Bike paths, a transit hub, 1,500 new parking spaces and a circulation network will enable pedestrians and vehicles to coexist while also connecting to the existing campus.   

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Landscape Design

A low-water, drought-tolerant landscape will blend with the existing campus and UC Merced's natural surroundings.

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The expansion builds on UC Merced's sustainability leadership and is committed to expanding access to the University in a way that minimizes impacts to the natural and built environment.

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