Press Release: 01.23.2013

Meeting the Challenge in Merced

McCarthy Builds upon Strong Relationships at the University of California’s Newest Campus

Students are heading to the University of California’s newest campus in record numbers and McCarthy is there to make their educational experience top-notch.

McCarthy is proud to have been awarded and commenced two new projects for the University of California, Merced. As the newest of the ten campuses in the University of California system, UC Merced is experiencing unparalleled enrollment growth, and as such, is feeling extreme strain on its current classroom and laboratory education and research space. In an effort to best mitigate this space constraint, the University had five projects under construction in 2012. Through a competitive public-bidding process, McCarthy was selected as the general contractor or construction manager on four of them. 

As one of Engineering News-Record’s Most Sustainable Educational Campuses in the Nation, UC Merced puts a high value on both energy efficiency as well as the quality of their construction projects. With such a focus on future performance of the project, the University commissions project designers and construction teams to deliver buildings that are unique architectural statements, while ensuring exceptional life-cycle value. Although a goal of minimizing energy consumption and providing extended life-cycle buildings that remediate long-term maintenance costs can be difficult to achieve, McCarthy is continuing to deliver for this growing campus.

In selecting McCarthy as both a design-build general contractor on the recently completed 22,000-square-foot, $9.5 million Student Activities & Athletics Center, and as construction manager on the 102,000-square-foot, $68 million Science and Engineering 2 project (scheduled to complete in spring 2014), the University has been able to leverage the McCarthy vision and team knowledge. For each project, McCarthy has brought both exceptional value and quality to the University through innovative design solutions, detailed plan review, and subcontractor outreach and procurement. By working closely with the design teams and the University representatives, McCarthy is on track to deliver each of these projects within budget parameters and achieving LEED Platinum certification.  

Exceptional value can also be measured by the ability to bring bottom dollar value to a project. As such, McCarthy is proud to have been awarded two recent projects on the University campus, each procured under a hard-bid procurement methodology. The Student Services Center is a two-building complex, comprising nearly 35,000 square feet of lecture hall and academic support space, and is a fast-tracked project that broke ground in October 2012. This $14 million project consists of a single-story pavilion with two large assembly halls that can serve as interim lecture halls to meet the increasing enrollment demands and the directly adjacent 3-story Student Services Building, which will house seminar and tutorial rooms, supports offices and meeting rooms. There is also a large plaza, with extensive hardscape and landscaping components to ensure that this building complex becomes a campus hub. The first building, the Pavilion, has a turnover date of mid-July 2013, with the entire project scheduled to be completed during fall 2013.

The most recent McCarthy project award by the University was the Site Development and Infrastructure Phase 4 project. This $3.5 million hard-bid project is a compilation of six different site and campus infrastructure upgrade projects throughout the existing 104-acre campus. This project is necessary to install the utility infrastructure of the planned future expansion of the campus, including the Student Services Building, currently under construction. The McCarthy project team will be required to provide special coordination of the various campus facilities, including the Central Utility Plant and the main IT Communications campus hub, which are being impacted by this work. McCarthy is charged with ensuring the safety of all students and faculty as the various projects progress throughout the campus, while minimizing impact to the campus services as the various projects are completed and brought on-line. McCarthy’s fourth project on the campus, the Site Development and Infrastructure Phase 4 project, is scheduled for completion by fall 2013.

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