SOM in the Press

UC Merced’s Completed 2020 Project Roughly Doubles The Campus’ Physical Capacity

Photo © Dave Burk | SOM

Source: Building Design + Construction

UC Merced recently completed the third phase of its 2020 Project, which the university asserts is the largest public-private partnership social infrastructure project in U.S. history.

The $1.2 billion project on 219 acres in California’s San Joaquin Valley initially started construction in October 2016. It adds 11 buildings and 1.2 million gross sf to the campus, including wet and computational labs, student housing, 1,570 parking spaces, a conference center, a greenhouse, and recreational fields. Two more buildings are planned for future phases.


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which created UC Merced’s original master plan in 2002 and eight campus buildings, master-planned the 2020 Project, a design-build effort with lead contractor Webcor Construction and the developer and equity member Plenary Group (Canada).

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