UC Merced reopens with new facilities

01/21/2014 11:18 PM

01/21/2014 11:19 PM

UC Merced welcomed students back to school Tuesday after completing its latest construction project – the Student Services Building.

Two 120-seat classrooms in the building have been in use since school started in the fall, but four more opened this week, two of them with 90 seats, and two with 20 seats, according to Brenda Ortiz, a spokeswoman for UC Merced.

In addition to lecture and lab space, Ortiz said, more than 50 staff and student workers moved into new offices in the building. The Office of Ombuds Services, Center for Career and Professional Services, and veterans and disability services, among others, will call the building home.

The new classrooms and office space come as the university is moderating its enrollment growth. Although undergraduate applications to attend UC Merced in the fall hit a record high at 17,469, space constraints will limit the university’s total enrollment increase to 165 more students than last fall, up to about 6,360.

Ortiz said the enrollment numbers are to stay relatively steady from fall to spring, but about 40 new freshmen and transfer students entered the school this semester.

Construction continues on a number of other buildings. The Science and Engineering Building 2 is on track to open this fall, administrators say.

The university got funding for Classroom and Office Building 2 in May, and construction began in the fall. The building is scheduled to open in spring 2016, administrators say.

The next campus event on the calendar is Bobcat Day, scheduled for April 12. Bobcat Day is an open house event for anyone who wants to see the campus, Ortiz said.

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