Community Celebrates New Downtown Campus Center

By JONATHAN WHITAKER
January 25, 2018

Hundreds of UC Merced supporters, students, faculty members, local leaders and curious residents joined in the celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday for the university’s new Downtown Campus Center.

The $45 million, 67,400-square-foot, three-story building is located at the corner of 18th and N streets, directly across from the Merced Civic Center. It will bring more than 300 UC Merced administrative staff to work, dine and shop in downtown.

“This is a great day,” declared Mayor Mike Murphy. “Merced is a city on the rise, and UC Merced is a big reason why. … The construction of this beautiful structure is a manifestation of an increasing investment in our downtown.”

Murphy pointed out that the campus also has office space inside the historic Mondo Building on Main Street and the Venture Lab on M Street.

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland piled on the praise for the ongoing cooperation between the community and the campus.

“This building and its location are designed to forge new ties between UC Merced and the community,” she said.

City Manager Steve Carrigan said the campus center is only the start of a downtown transformation that will include the revitalization of the Mainzer Theatre and the El Capitan Hotel — a project that’s expected to break ground as early as next month.

District Attorney Larry Morse, who was a member of the committee to bring the 10th University of California campus to town more than a decade ago, stood in awe of Tuesday's street spectacle.

“It’s incredible to see this kind of growth and expansion,” he said.


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