SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) UC Santa Cruz announced that UC Regents have approved a plan to increase student housing and expand child care services.
In a statement, the university said the Student West Housing will include housing space for more than 3,000 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students by building new housing units. The project would also allow for the expansion of child care services.
The new housing will be built on land at the intersection of Hagar and Coolidge roads, according to the university, and it will include an early childhood education center for the children of faculty, staff and students. University officials said they hope to start construction as soon as possible.
Student Housing West is set to include solar panels and a water recycling facility to reuse wastewater for non-potable uses.
When the new housing is built, the university says it will tear down the buildings that currently house students will families so they can build six new buildings with housing for 2,700 undergraduate students and 220 graduate students.
One of the reasons university officials said they created the plan for new housing was to provide more affordable housing for students.
“Students should be focused on their studies—not whether they’ll be able to find an affordable place to live,” said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “This project will offer our current students many more options for living on campus and allow them to avoid competing in the local housing market, which is only growing more expensive.”
University officials said there is limited on-campus housing for upper-division undergraduates and graduate students, so many of them look for housing around the university in Santa Cruz. Additional housing could mean fewer students trying to find housing in areas experiencing a housing shortage.
UCSC said the housing project was first approved two years ago, but lawsuits kept the university from meeting the timeline. In October, UCSC said a judge upheld an environmental review of the housing project and found that there were errors in the process the Regents used when they approved the project.