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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New projects in construction on UC Davis campus

As the final quarter of the school year commences, several construction projects on the UC Davis campus have reached or are nearing completion. Though the new Tercero dormitories represent some of the more obvious activity, other developments promise major changes for the campus.

UC Davis Student Health and Wellness Center

The new health center, located on La Rue Road between Hutchison and Orchard Drives, opened its doors Mar. 29. The environmentally sustainable center exceeds the UC Regents’ Policy for Green Building Design, and offers all services formerly available at the Cowell Student Health Center. Students can seek treatment for primary care, specialty care such as acupuncture and dermatology, mental health support, nutrition services, and more, according to the center’s website.

Pipeline project

On Mar. 19, construction workers dug up part of Hutchison Drive near Shields Library to install an upgraded network of steam and chilled water lines. The project will extend down the Mrak Mall walkway, reaching the new King Hall expansion and the Earth and Physical Sciences buildings, ultimately forming a 2,250 foot loop.

Pablo Orozco, a senior project manager for UC Davis Design and Construction Management, predicted that work will continue until October or November. The new water system – a campus-funded project costing approximately $3.5 million – seeks to improve both the quality and dispersal of water on campus.

“[The] project will improve district energy system efficiency, water distribution system hydraulics and pressure [and] reduce pump energy,” Orozco said.

Hyatt Place

The new four-story, 75 room hotel, located at the front of the UC Davis campus, is easily visible from I-80. Though the grand opening is scheduled for May 7, the hotel opened Mar. 17, and will offer public tours on Picnic Day. Developers created the space to accommodate campus visitors, including athletic teams, and as a conference center with 1,200 square feet of meeting space. An outdoor pool, fitness center, parking and shuttle services are other amenities featured at the hotel.

King Hall Expansion

New additions and improvements to the UC Davis School of Law are expected to be completed in May. Upgraded features include an appellate courtroom, which will host oral arguments of the U.S. Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court and California Court of Appeals, as well as new classrooms and reading rooms, a courtyard, and faculty offices.

The project will also expand space for student dining and gathering. Builders designed the new areas to filter natural light in to the structures, using a visually striking setting with open windows facing the school’s courtyard. Overall, the expansion represents a 29 percent increase in space for the law school.

Private donations contributed $5 million to the project, with developers working to raise another $2.6 million to complete the renovation. These funds are in addition to the $17.9 million in state funds and $3.9 in campus gift funds provided for the project, according the King Hall Expansion and Renovation website.

Winery, Brewery and Food Science Laboratory

The Research and Teaching Winery and August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory are facilities of the UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science expected to be finished in August.

All three buildings utilize innovative environmentally sustainable features, including solar power generation, water conservation and the use of recycled construction materials. The projects are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certified, the highest rating award given by the US Green Building Council. The winery is the first in the US to be LEED certified and will be among the first fully solar wineries, said Roger Boulton, UC Davis professor of Viticulture and Enology, in an interview.

“The winery will have a wireless data network for all fermentation monitoring,” Boulton said. “[It] will be the first demonstration of real time density and temperature measurements in the world.”

Funding for the centers is entirely private, with major donations coming from the late Robert Mondavi and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation. Altogether, more than 150 individuals have given over $16.5 million.

MEGAN MURPHY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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