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Rendering of UC Merced39s proposed Downtown Center UC Merced
<p>Rendering of UC Merced&#39;s proposed Downtown Center.</p>

Regents approve plans for construction of downtown center at University of California, Merced

$45 million project is a key element of the university&#39;s expansion plans.&nbsp;

The University of California Regents have approved construction of a new center for the University of California, Merced, in the city's downtown.

The 67,400-gross-square-foot, $45 million building will provide space for administrators and for collaborations with community partners, as well as conference and seminar rooms and a work café.

The university says that administrative staff members on campus and at various off-campus sites will be consolidated at the new center. The facility will bring about 370 people to the area each business day and free up space on campus for student and academic use.

The Downtown Center project is integral to UC Merced’s 2020 Project, which is designed to expand the campus so it can accommodate 10,000 students by 2020. Projections call for construction to start in summer 2016 and finish a year later.

Michael Reese, UC Merced's vice chancellor for business and administrative services, says the school still has to overcome significant hurdles before construction of the center becomes a reality.

“Among them is assurance that the City of Merced will provide the necessary city services for expansion of the campus,” Reese says.

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