Construction well underway on new student housing at UC Santa Cruz


Committed to advancing student success, UC Santa Cruz leaders are responding to the current housing crisis by providing immediate student support programs while constructing new residential buildings to dramatically increase the number of students who can live on campus.

Over the next decade, UC Santa Cruz plans to move forward on a bold and ambitious path that will continue to increase housing for current and future students. There are two major projects already approved – one under construction and the other overcoming legal challenges in the courts – which will allow more current students to live on campus. UC Santa Cruz is also in the process of creating a 10-year housing plan with a project scale that has projects in the planning, proposal, or construction stage at all times. This will allow UCSC to move on to another project if one is delayed and continue to provide beds to meet its goals.

These bold future plans will build on the campus’ long-standing commitment to providing an on-campus residential experience for students. The campus currently provides housing for more than half of its undergraduate students. While this is one of the highest percentages in the UC system, executives say it’s not high enough. Campus efforts to build more on-campus housing continue in earnest.

“Santa Cruz faces pressing housing challenges, and on-campus student housing is a critical need for our campus,” said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “We are compelled to seize every opportunity to increase the amount of student accommodation we offer.”

Building on a founding commitment to housing

UC Santa Cruz was founded to provide a residential college experience for students at 10 colleges. Over the past two decades, UC Santa Cruz has increased its student housing capacity by 3,300 beds through structural modifications, such as adding floors, major building overhauls, and increasing density in university residences. When construction of a new residential building is completed next academic year, the campus will have increased its housing capacity by 53% since the 2003-2004 academic year.

Renewal of the Kresge to add hundreds of additional beds

UC Santa Cruz is in the midst of a renovation project at Kresge College, which includes additional housing and academic space. The first phase will be completed next school year with 400 new beds in a residential building under construction. Phase 2 of the Kresge project is expected to add hundreds of new beds and open in fall 2025.

The UC Board of Trustees approved both the Kresge College renewal and the Student Housing West project at its March 2019 meeting. As construction progressed in Kresge, Student Housing West faced challenges. legal challenges that went against the needs and interests of students, building much-needed housing.

Student Housing West will create approximately 3,000 new beds

Student Housing West will allow UC Santa Cruz to provide significantly more housing for its current graduate and upper-division undergraduate students by building new housing that can accommodate approximately 3,000 students. The project, spread over two sites, will also allow the campus to expand childcare services to serve the children of faculty, staff and students.

Student Housing West has been held back by lawsuits and the housing crisis has only gotten worse over the past four years. Had construction started as planned, Student Housing West would have been well on its way to providing more much-needed housing.

Courts continued to rule in favor of the university, and in some cases opponents agreed to dismiss their case. There is no doubt that the project is necessary and that the university is not only legally authorized to build housing on the sites identified in the project, but has done so with a solid analysis of the environmental impacts.

A long-term focus on housing

In the fall of 2021, the UC Board of Trustees unanimously approved UCSC’s 2021 Long-Term Development, which is a plan for future physical development on campus, outlining how the main campus and Westside Research Park could expand over the next two decades. The plan identifies where students, staff, and faculty could be housed, where new learning and research spaces could be created, and what land should be off-limits to construction.

The plan respects the original vision of UC Santa Cruz and was shaped by substantial feedback from community partners. Highlights of the plan include:

  • Utilizing a compact footprint for learning, research and housing spaces.
  • Provide sites for up to four new Residential Colleges, advancing our distinctive Residential College System structure.
  • Extends housing to 100% of new full-time students enrolled above 19,500. UCSC currently has approximately 18,500 students.
  • Provide housing for up to 25% of new employees, depending on demand.

As with many organizations in Santa Cruz County, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer said the lack of housing availability and its cost makes it difficult to recruit and retain employees and that the campus needs to mitigate. its impacts in order to achieve its long-term objective. Goals.

With insights and recommendations from an Employee Housing Advisory Task Force, the campus is developing a plan that will help provide more housing and housing support for faculty and staff, including a step-by-step plan to steadily develop, plan, design and build more employee housing.

UC Santa Cruz plans to keep its listings as stable as possible until more housing comes online. Housing is a critical component of student success, and UC Santa Cruz remains focused on ensuring students are prepared for a meaningful college experience that will position them for long-term personal and professional success.

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