Chancellor Khosla and other UC San Diego representatives got a glimpse of the future in a tour of the Ocean Discovery Institute’s “Living Lab,” an immersive new facility that will engage thousands of students and their families in City Heights, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the region.
In a lively discussion that included Shara Fisler, Ocean Discovery’s executive director, and Gentry Patrick, professor of neurobiology and director of mentorship and diversity for UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences, Chancellor Khosla discussed UC San Diego’s expanding relationship with community enrichment groups such as Ocean Discovery and its mission to “transform young lives through science,” as well as the university’s ability to enhance and support such efforts. When completed in the fall, the San Diego Unified School District-funded Living Lab will expand Ocean Discovery from 6,000 to 10,000 underserved students and families.
UC San Diego broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility at the corner of Park and Market that will connect the university to the downtown innovation community and to diverse neighborhoods throughout San Diego’s urban core. The university’s four-story, 66,000-square-foot facility is part of a larger development with Holland Partner Group that will include a 34-story residential tower, an outdoor amphitheater and public open space, which will host a variety of community-engaging events, and the restoration of the Remmen House, a historic property that will serve as a restaurant. The residential tower will have 426 units of which 85 will be rent-restricted affordable apartments for very low-income residents.
To usher in this new chapter for the university, the Chancellor Khosla and Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer were joined by Councilmember Chris Ward; Mary Walshok, dean of UC San Diego Extension; and Reese Jarrett, president and CEO of Civic San Diego, as well as by more than 150 civic and business leaders and community members.
“UC San Diego is committed to being a partner in helping grow the regional economy in ways that provide opportunity for all,” Khosla said. “This new facility will bring the university to the community, connecting us in new and profound ways. This urban location embodies the university’s commitment to break new ground in providing educational access.”
Khosla added that a key reason the university selected the site was because of its proximity to the UC San Diego Blue Line, which will run from San Ysidro to University City and connect its main campus in La Jolla with the greater San Diego region.
Mayor Faulconer said that having UC San Diego downtown would energize the East Village and surrounding neighborhoods by providing educational and cultural amenities that will bolster downtown’s burgeoning innovation economy.
“There’s no better place for UC San Diego to spread its wings than downtown – one of the city’s most creative places for entrepreneurs and innovators.”
The development is expected to open in 2021.
UC San Diego is addressing the need for parking on campus. A groundbreaking ceremony was held today for the Osler Parking Structure, located next to Skaggs School of Pharmacy, a five-minute walk from the center of campus. The structure will add 1,350 parking spaces to campus and will be completed in fall 2018. It is one of four parking structures being added in the next few years. The three others are the Voigt structure in the canyon north of Geisel Library, the underground structure that will be part of the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, and the Mesa Housing structure on east campus.
Three of the four structures are being designed for possible re-purposing one day, in case our campus doesn’t need so much parking in the future, especially after Light Rail Transit arrives. These projects are part of our phasing-out of existing surface lots to maximize efficiency and make better use of our space.
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