UC Riverside Tabs Design-Build Team for School of Medicine Venue

By Eric Althoff

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—The University of California Regents board has approved the Riverside campus’s new $84 million Education Building II project for UCR’s School of Medicine.

Following a design-build competition, the University of California Regents—in concert with the UCR Office of Planning, Design, and Construction—selected the design-build team of Hensel Phelps and CO Architects for the construction project. Both firms are headquartered in Southern California.

Included in the education building plan are an outdoor plaza that will give the School of Medicine its own unique identity. Solar panels and state-of-the-art thermally insulating materials will help reduce the building’s environmental impact. Due to its sustainable design, the Education Building II facility has been certified LEED Platinum.

In a recent statement, Eric Bain, Hensel Phelps’ operations manager for the project, said that his firm is excited to be back at UC Riverside. Hensel Phelps previously worked on the campus’s Multidisciplinary Research Building, which won a National Award of Merit in the category Industrial, Process and Research Facilities.

“At the core of our design and construction efforts is the desire to support, promote, and advance the campus’s vision to create an inclusive and innovative learning environment,” said Bain. “The design-build team looks forward to working side by side with UCR to create a new home for the School of Medicine that will be a focal point on campus and within the broader Riverside County community.”

“We have partnered with Hensel Phelps on other strategic pursuits for the University of California, and have highly refined the process to deliver exceptional buildings,” James Simeo, principal at CO Architects and project design lead, said of the collaboration. “The new, five-story facility will create a new home for the School of Medicine, prioritizing collaborative spaces for students, faculty, and staff.”

University personnel weighed in on the value of the Education Building II project, and also praised the joint venture of the two construction firms, which is being labeled “Hensel Phelps + CO Architects.”

“I would like to thank the UC Regents for their approval of this project, which will give us the space we need to grow our class sizes to 125 students per year and continue to fulfill the mission of increasing the number of physicians in the underserved inland Southern California,” Dr. Deborah Deas, vice chancellor of health sciences and the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean of the UCR School of Medicine, said of the collaboration. “There is so much to be excited about.”

Construction is due to kick off this summer, and Bain anticipates UCR School of Medicine’s Education Building II’s will be completed sometime in the middle of 2023.

UCR’s medical school first opened in 2013. In addition to its doctorate in medicine, the school offers concentrations in biomedical sciences, general surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and cardiovascular medicine.