UCSB capital projects will benefit from Gov. Gray Davis’ economic stimulus package, which will accelerate construction by six months for one capital project and guarantee state funding for a second.

Davis’ 2002-2003 budget proposal – released Jan. 10 – would hasten construction of the California NanoSystems Institute, scheduled to break ground in November 2003, and the Life Sciences Building, set for July 2002. Construction for the Life Sciences Building was originally scheduled to begin November of this year and end in October 2004, but will be started and completed six months earlier.

The construction for both buildings has been accelerated due to a change in funding for 2002-2003 from general funds to lease-revenue bonds. These bonds, which are paid off over time, allow money for both the CNSI and Life Sciences buildings to be approved in advance, without California Legislature approving funding every year.

The acceleration was part of an economic stimulus package that is meant to maintain the economy by keeping all those related to construction employed, Director of Capital Development Martha Levy said.

“The idea is to promote innovation as a way of addressing the economy and future technology,” she said. “Building new facilities for bioscience and nanotechnology research and instruction will help us toward this goal.”

The budget will also hasten construction for seven projects on five other UC campuses.

The CNSI is a joint project between UCLA and UCSB that is funded through a $100-million state research grant. The UCLA facility, which received two-thirds of the grant, will focus on the medical side of nanoscience, and UCSB, which received the other third, will focus on the engineering and material aspects. CNSI Researchers at UCSB would attempt to lay the groundwork for molecular-sized computers.

“Nanosystems involves many fields of research, like chemistry, biology, engineering and physics,” Vice Chancellor of Research France Cordova said. “I think the construction of the CNSI facility here is going to benefit a lot of people.”

The Life Sciences Building will provide modern instruction and research space for both the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology and the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology according to a statement from Chancellor Henry Yang. The $30.2 million project will hold a 150-seat lecture hall, two 25-station class laboratories, and new laboratory, office and administrative space.

“Every building that we build is good for the campus as a whole,” Associate Dean for Advancement and Planning Gene Lucas said. “With the enrollment growth in the biosciences, more room was needed for teaching and research.”

The Life Sciences Building will be located on site of temporary building #478 and will not affect parking while under construction. The CNSI building is to be located between Kohn Hall and Engineering II, and will eliminate around 400 parking spaces in Lot 10.