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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Student Housing continues Tercero renovation

By June 2014, UC Davis Student Housing is expecting to complete Tercero Area Phase 3 (TP3). The project consists of opening seven brand new residence halls that will begin housing first-year students by Fall 2014.

According to Branden Petitt, director of the Office of Student Development, Student Housing plans to open 1,176 new beds as part of TP3 that will consist of 80 single rooms and 548 doubles. The total project cost for TP3 is $88,441,000. Petitt said that the funding for TP3, as well as all new residence hall projects done by Student Housing, comes from a combination of debt financing and capital reserves.

“Student Housing is an auxiliary operation which is funded through room and board fees students pay when they choose to live with us,” Petitt said via email.

For Frank Lin, a first-year animal science major, the high cost of living within Student Housing remains burdensome.

“Usually for me, it’s the cost. It’s expensive here,” Lin said. “It’s nice that they are building new housing, but I don’t know if it’s the case where they’re going to lower the price or not.”

According to Jill Tomcyzk, assistant director of Project Management, TP3 is a design-build project being constructed by Sundt Construction in collaboration with EHDD Architecture out of San Francisco.

According to Tomcyzk, sustainability features for TP3 include an energy-efficient design through strategies such as natural ventilation, shading from mature trees and proper orientation of the buildings.

She claimed that TP3 will reduce water usage in its landscaping by capturing on-site runoff in bioswales, a system for the removal of pollution from runoff water, for natural percolation.

Project specifications required the use of both high recycled content materials and regional materials when possible, according to Tomczyk. During the construction process, there was also a focus on projecting natural daylight and views into the living spaces.

“The buildings are aiming to achieve a sustainability rating by the U.S. Green Building Council of LEED Gold, with a chance to achieve Platinum,” Tomcyzk said via e-mail.

According to Tomcyzk, TP3 is largely similar to the residence halls constructed in Tercero Phases 1 and 2 in features and format. However, she stated that the uniqueness of TP3 residence halls will come from their 250-seat lecture hall to be used for the new student orientation program, movie viewing and other academic uses.

Student Housing expects to begin Tercero Area Phase 4 (TP4) in late June 2014 with the demolition of Leach Hall to construct more housing for first-year students.The total project cost is estimated at $64 million. Student Housing expects to complete TP4 by June 2017 and to be open for incoming students that fall.

According to Tomcyzk, Leach Hall will be replaced with approximately 500 beds in a similar arrangement to Tercero Phases 1, 2 and 3. According to Tomcyzk, Student Housing is still in its early stages of design, so the breakdown of singles and doubles remains undetermined. Tomcyzk claimed that the decision to demolish Leach Hall, built in 1970, came from the building’s age.

“[Leach Hall] is kind of old, so upgrading is always good,” said Kimberly Campos, a first-year and a current resident of Leach Hall. “If they’re able to add more rooms or maybe put more doubles so it will be more affordable for students that would be good.”

According to Petitt, TP4 is estimated at a higher cost than TP3 because of changes in the construction market, changes in California building code for energy efficiency and the programmatic decision made by Student Housing to have a higher number of single rooms for TP4. However, Petitt claims that the cost isn’t significantly different from the cost of other construction projects being completed around Davis.

According to Petitt, the Tercero Dining Commons was renovated in 2006 to accommodate the increase in residents TP3 will eventually add to the area. As for the increase in residents from TP4, Petitt said that Student Housing is in the beginning stages of its design to add seating to accommodate those residents as well.

After noticing an already crowded space, Ales Lee, a first-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, predicts the 2006 Dining Commons renovation will not be large enough to serve all the residents in the Tercero area after TP3 is complete.

“All those people in that one building is going to be ridiculous,” Lee said. “People are not going to be able to eat before their classes. The lines are already long in this area. So imagine if you’re adding another 1,000 students.”

Amanda Mponte, a first-year biological sciences major, echoed Lee’s thoughts.

“It gets so full,” Mponte said. “The lines are already down the stairs and imagine triple that. How am I supposed to eat before my class?”

According to Tomcyzk, in addition to the Tercero renovations, the current Student Housing Capital Plan proposes a redevelopment of Cuarto’s Webster Hall beginning in 2017.

Outside of Student Housing, there are currently three development projects in the works managed by UC Davis Real Estate Services. These include West Village, the redevelopment of Cuarto’s Castilian Hall and a redevelopment of Orchard Park.

According to Mark Rutheiser, assistant director of UC Davis Real Estate Services, Castilian Hall will be renovated into a graduate student single apartment to be renamed “8th & Wake.” The buildings are expected to be completed by Aug. 2014 and to be open for occupancy by Sept. 1 of the same year.

“The goal [of the apartments] is to provide below-market rents,” Rutheiser said via e-mail.

Rutheiser said that the apartments are being constructed by a third-party developer who will bear the cost of development as well. According to Rutheiser, the developer will also manage and operate the facility with its own funds. He said that this is not a new process for the University.

“UC Davis has several other residential facilities that have been built and managed by third parties in a similar manner,” Rutheiser said.

He said the reason behind rebuilding Castilian Hall was its age, which led it to becoming functionally obsolete beyond affordable repair.

“Castilian Hall was built in the late 1960s … Because of the very high cost of repair, the obsolete standards of the existing living units, and the higher level of health and safety that can be achieved by building to current building codes, it was decided to rebuild,” Rutheiser said.

According to Rutheiser, the redevelopment of Orchard Park is because of the same reasons as Castilian Hall. Additionally, Rutheiser said that the redevelopment will also bring an opportunity to increase the amount of student housing at the site.

The University is currently negotiating with a separate developer from 8th & Wake to redevelop Orchard Park. A meeting was held Jan. 25 to introduce the graduate student community to the third-party developer and to discuss the plan concept for Orchard Park further.

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