As UC Davis runs short on space for computers and classrooms, the administration is looking for more places to provide help for its students. The largest open space is the Arboretum.
Located on the southernmost tip of campus, the Arboretum is home to thousands of different species of plants, animals and insects. Todd Donald, director of Campus Development, explained in a press conference on Monday why construction will soon begin to create more space.
“Bottom line, we need space to put this computer lab and there aren’t enough rooms. You have kids taking classes out past the football stadium, that is far,” Donald said. “Here at Davis, the campus is large, but we don’t like far.”
The Arboretum is an important part of student life. It’s an iconic symbol of the UC Davis campus. It will be moved in order to make room for two new computer labs and seven new classrooms. The easternmost part of the arboretum will be demolished, after the trees, but before the path that runs right next to Mrak Hall.
Naturally, there has been unrest. Students and professors have expressed dissatisfaction at the destruction of the greenery.
“From a spacing point of view, the construction makes sense. From every other point of view, the construction is an abomination of student life. The people watching there is incredible,” said Brady Ziegler, a fourth-year plant sciences major and son of economics professor Lauren Ziegler. “I go there to study; it’s quiet. My mother goes there to grade papers. I grew up in Davis, and I don’t want to see it leave.”
The school has yet to announce the design plans for the new building, but the estimated cost is hovering around $10 million. The money is coming out of student tuition, not from donations provided by alumni or the green initiative. Once again, the school is using a large budget in order to further its own agenda.
While computers are important, so is open space. There are better and more convenient locations to begin construction on campus rather than campus’ most beloved hangout spot. The recently renovated Memorial Union comes to mind when considering other spaces that could have been filled.
Construction is set to begin fall 2017. Students have been encouraged to go to the Quad in order to get their fix of people watching, as well as plant and insect company.
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