San Diego Universities Plan Upgrades, New Construction

SAN DIEGO — Both the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) and the University of San Diego (USD) will embark on construction and renovation projects in 2015.

UC San Diego announced in December it would soon begin developing designs for a new $111.6 million biology and chemistry building. Plans for the proposed 126,000-square-foot biology and chemistry building have been on the table for nearly a decade, but the project has been stalled due to lack of funding. However, campus officials are now pushing ahead with the project and hope to begin the design phase later this year.

The biology and chemistry programs are two of the university’s most highly ranked programs, and the university has already committed a portion of its own reserves to the project. Officials will now seek funding from donors and other outside sources. Provided the project remains on track, the six-story research and teaching facility will be completed by the fall of 2018.

UC San Diego will also complete a renovation of Mayer Hall’s Palacci Lab for the Physical Sciences Department. The project, designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux of San Diego, will demolish several existing spaces and transform them into four new labs capable of supporting physics and laser experiments. Though the project will not seek LEED certification, it will comply with the University of California Policy on Sustainable Practice and aims for an April 2015 completion.

Meanwhile, USD will complete improvements on the Manchester Hall Conference Center and will embark on the next phase of improvements to Loma Hall, home to the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

Work on Manchester Hall will begin in June and will include a more than 8,000-square-foot interior renovation, improving both the career services and undergraduate admissions departments. The project will include mechanical and electrical upgrades, as well as a modification to the building’s entry colonnade with an all-glass curtain wall system.

Nearly 12,000 square feet in USD’s Loma Hall will also undergo upgrades, building on Phase I improvements, which were completed earlier this month. Those improvements included demolition of a large portion of the facility’s first floor to add a new lobby, ideation space and rapid prototyping lab. The next round of work will include the addition of a sound-isolation ceiling.

The San Diego office of Sunnyvale, Calif.-headquartered Level 10 Construction will provide general contracting services on projects for both universities, namely the improvements to USD’s Manchester Conference Center and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and UC San Diego’s Palacci Lab.

“The Level 10 project team has extensive experience in higher education projects,” said Mike Conroy, vice president of operations for Level 10 Construction, in a statement. “We have an adaptable approach that is focused on providing a high level of service to our clients while meeting their expectations for cost, schedule, quality and safety.”