New Psychology Building Plans in the Works

By Robert Bastone, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Aerial showing preferred site for Psychology Building 1 The College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences currently is in the planning stages for the development of a new Psychology building. The new building is expected to help the University and College better accommodate the expected increases in student enrollment over the next six years. The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) predicts an increase of 6000 students over the next six years, two-thirds of which are expected to enter CHASS.

The new development, with an expected overall budget of nearly 33.7 million dollars, will provide classroom and lab space for all four disciplines in the Psychology department. The structure will encompass 3354 sq ft of instructional space, nearly 6000 sq ft for offices, 31,732 sq ft will be allotted for research and laboratory purposes, and 2848 sq ft will be departmental offices. The building will also feature an 8000 sq ft vivarium and animal testing facility.

Nationally renowned Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbot have been chosen to be the design architects on the new structure, while California HDR Architecture Inc, out of San Diego will provide assistance. Shepley Bulfinch will prepare schematics and development documents, and HDR will oversee the project during construction.

Although plans for the new building are currently in the works, funding for the project is unclear. The fate of the project seems to hinge on the passage of CA Proposition 55 in the March 2 primary election. The proposed initiative will authorize the sale of bonds to better fund K-12 and University education. Should Proposition 55 pass in March, the University of California system would itself receive $690 million dollars split up over nine campuses statewide, including about $345 million per year for capital outlay and development. Development at all the UC schools will greatly be affected whatever the outcome of the March 2 vote.

Should funds be allotted by Prop 55 or received from other sources, construction on the new Psychology building is expected to begin in January of 2005 and continue for a 24-month period.

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