University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA

Student Union, Recreation/Events Center, Amphitheater Feasibility Analysis

In 2002 the University of California, Santa Cruz hired B&D as part of a team to perform a feasibility study for the construction of a new student union and recreation/events center, the renovation of the existing Quarry Amphitheater, the addition of outdoor recreation fields and structural improvements to existing fields, the addition of a parking structure, and bridge infrastructure to support increased campus foot traffic. A University of California system mandate and unprecedented growth made it necessary for each UC institution to absorb additional students beyond its physical capacity.  UCSC responded to the expected growth by addressing the need to provide quality-of-life facilities to sufficiently meet demand and develop social, cultural, and recreational spaces to complement the individual college environments. Although popular, the existing union was too small to serve the university population.  The Quarry Amphitheater, visually appealing and endearing, was inaccessible and in need of renovation.  The university viewed the addition of a recreation/events center as a way to strengthen campus community.  Lastly, parking and infrastructure would be necessary to support all anticipated changes.   Our feasibility study included a market study consisting of an analysis of peer institutions, focus groups to determine perception and demand, an Internet survey, and a demand-based programming of activity and program spaces derived from the survey for each facility.  We were able to determine the mix of activity spaces for the student union and a new capacity for the amphitheater and recreation/events center.  The preliminary financial analysis included a development budget projecting each project’s total cost and the student fee needed to support each facility.