After discussing the topic in an open session for over an hour, the UC Board of Regents conditionally approved the Student Housing West (SHW ) development at UC Santa Cruz. It is approved unless regents change their minds on the approval after a financial review.
From March 12-14, the UC Board of Regents met at UCLA for three days of committee meetings. On March 13, the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee discussed multiple action items, including possibly approving the SHW project in accordance to the Long Range Development Plan. UCSC administrators, including Chancellor George Blumenthal, presented the plan to the committee.
SHW is projected to bring about 3,000 beds to campus. It would replace the current Family Student Housing buildings off of Heller Drive with 140 units of family student housing off of Hagar Drive.
Regent and chair of the UC Finance and Capital Strategies Committee Hadi Makarechian brought up aesthetic and environmental concerns students and alumni had about the proposed Hagar Drive location.
Blumenthal said the team analyzed five additional sites since the last regents meeting. The cheapest of the alternatives, Ranch View Terrace, would add $90 million to the project and increase the price of on-campus student housing by 15 percent throughout the SHW project.
Makarechian was dubious of the presented cost of the cheapest alternative to the Hagar site. He proposed a more detailed financial study of the alternatives over the next month with Regents Lark Park and George Kieffer, which would allow them to revoke the committee’s approval depending on what they find.
The next UC Board of Regents meeting is May 15-16 at UC San Francisco, where they will discuss the findings of their financial review of the Hagar Drive housing alternatives.
Videos of the design of the SHW project can be found at https:// ucscstudenthousingwest.org.