MERCED, CALIF. — Plenary has announced the completion of a US$1.3-billion multi-use campus expansion project in Merced, Calif. that is said to be the largest social infrastructure public-private partnership (P3) project in U.S. history.
The 1.2-million-square-foot campus expansion, known as UC Merced 2020, was officially delivered to the university on June 1, stated a June 22 release. The project includes student housing, classrooms, teaching and research space, student wellness and counselling facilities and recreational spaces. Delivery occurred in three phases, beginning in mid-July 2018, with the second phase finished in mid-2019.
The P3 development team operated under the project team name of Plenary Properties Merced. The team was led by developer and equity provider Plenary in partnership with Webcor; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the lead campus planner; and Johnson Controls Inc, which is responsible for operations and maintenance.
“The project was conceived as a design, build, finance, operate and maintain project,” explained Webcor COO Matt Rossie in a statement. “The university provided a vision. The Plenary Properties Merced team turned the vision into designs, procured subcontractors, installed the infrastructure, constructed the buildings and commissioned the building systems, all in less than four years.”
“The project’s on-time completion significantly improved UC Merced’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic,” commented UC Merced interim chancellor Nathan Brostrom. “The additional space we have opened on campus will be critical in ensuring that we could comply with social distancing requirements while still serving our students who remained on campus. We are grateful for these partnerships.”
The UC Merced 2020 project has been recognized with several awards, including the 2017 Infrastructure Journal Global Award, a 2016 P3 Award, a Public Sector Champion Award from the Performance-Based Building Coalition, and a 2017 award for P3 Social Infrastructure Project of the Year.
Plenary was previously known as Plenary Group and is now developing and maintaining P3 investments as Plenary Americas following its acquisition by Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.