UC Riverside to add more campus learning spaces with Student Success Centre
The University of California (UC), Riverside has announced a new construction project that will provide next-generation classroom and student activity spaces to meet its need for more variants of teaching, learning and student-oriented facilities.
The project will deliver UC Riverside’s Student Success Centre, a 60,000-square-foot building featuring a mix of classrooms, small to large-sized lecture halls, multipurpose rooms, student study areas, meeting rooms, and a student lounge.
There will be new, groundbreaking student facilities added to the centre, which will provide a more advanced and inclusive learning and living experience for students on campus, including the first-ever gender-inclusive multi-stall restroom.
With a seating capacity of 1,100, the project is expected to meet the university’s need for more classroom space in light of rising enrollment and graduation rates.
“It’s the first expansion in a very long time in net new classroom seats,” said Campus Architect Jacqueline Norman.
The project, which commenced in November, is strategically located on a 0.8-acre lawn area south of the CHASS Interdisciplinary building and east of the Student Services building.
The construction site was specifically selected by a working group of students, staff, and faculty members due to its accessibility to undergraduate students and proximity to the other classrooms, other student support services, and student activities.
Norman added that the Student Success Centre is expected to become a major gateway to the campus thanks to its strategic location near two major corridors, the Arts and Carillon Malls. The centre will serve as a new hub of student learning and activity.
Another unique feature in store for the centre is a brand new 400-seat round lecture hall that will offer a TED Talks-styled teaching and learning environment with a larger seating capacity.
The inception of this facility was partially inspired by a similar facility in Oregon State University, which welcomed a visit by 20 UC Riverside faculty members to check out the site themselves.
“This is a really exciting classroom, and a great addition to the types of instructional spaces that we already have on campus,” said UC Riverside associate provost Ken Baerenklau who is also the chair of the project working group.
“It’s designed to increase instructor-student and student-student engagement while still achieving the large seating capacity that we need.”
UC Riverside project manager with the Office of Planning, Design and Construction Mihai Gavan also commented that the construction of this project and its impacts will be highly visible to the surrounding area thanks to its central location.
While the construction site has been enclosed by a 15-foot fencing and surrounded by construction trailers, pedestrians will still have partial access to the walkway near the CHASS and Student Services buildings. The fencing has been extended into a larger portion of the lawn and the pathway to the south.
Grass and landscaping, including several trees, are being removed to clear the land as part of the site preparation.
Following initial work which consists of preparing the site for construction, including trenching to install utilities, major construction will commence in early 2020 and is expected to be completed in Summer 2021.
Portions of the construction fencing will consist of sound-absorbing material to help reduce construction work noise to surrounding buildings.
Gavan added that the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction will also list construction activity updates a week in advance on its website and hold bi-weekly meetings with representatives of neighbouring buildings to discuss construction impacts.