The $12 million Mosher Alumni House is nearing completion after spending 20 years in the planning stages.
Located next to Campbell Hall, the new 10,000 square foot alumni house is slated for a grand opening gala in November, but sections of the building will be ready for move-in at the end of June, said George Thurlow, assistant vice chancellor for alumni affairs.
“Different parts of the building will be available for use throughout the summer,” said Thurlow, a 1973 alumnus. “Our library will be ready in July.”
The three-story building will serve many different functions, Thurlow said. The first floor will be transformed into a lobby where off-campus visitors can pick up maps, parking passes and other information from receptionists. The second floor will contain a library and the third floor will function as an area for meetings. There will also be a living room in the tower overlooking Mesa Road.
Thurlow said the structure exists to encourage more frequent visits from alumni.
“I always tell students that this building is really for our alumni, one you will be able to come back to throughout the years,” Thurlow said. “As an alum, this is always going to be your building.”
The building was designed by architect Barry Berkus, an alumnus and trustee of the UCSB Foundation.
Marc Fisher, associate vice chancellor for campus design and facilities, said the original location – the area next to the wetlands – did not work due to environmental concerns.
“We learned in the planning process that the location was adjacent to wetlands,” Fisher said. “We decided in 2002 to place the site where it is now.”
Thurlow said the actual construction did not begin until 2006. The cost and site were the main obstacles in prolonging the construction process.
“The funds were all privately raised,” Thurlow said. “No money came from tax dollars or student fees.”
Main contributors include Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher, who donated $3 million, as well as the Alumni Association, which used over $3 million of its own reserves, Thurlow said.
“There are a number of donors, including alumni,” Thurlow said. “More than 100 people contributed to the project.”
Thurlow said the building is environmentally friendly. The planning team purchased recycled carpeting, low-energy lighting and will use reclaimed water for irrigation.
“We have really worked hard to make it a green building,” Thurlow said.