Inclement weather at UCSB has not delayed construction underway on several multi-million dollar facilities on campus, all of which will offer housing, parking and better classroom organization on campus.

Two major projects are currently nearing completion: the San Clemente Graduate Student Housing complex, with its attendant parking structure, and the Educational and Social Sciences Building. Despite heavy rainfall, administrators say all projects remain on schedule and are predicted to reach completion earlier than originally anticipated.

According to Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design & Facilities Marc Fisher, construction on ESSB will finish by May 2009, if not sooner, and students can expect to live in San Clemente by this summer.

“We’re really ahead of schedule,” Fisher said. “The [graduate] apartments are done, carpets are down, cabinets are in place, the meeting rooms are in place. The only thing we have to do on the outside is painting, graphics, and landscaping. Luckily, last year was such a dry winter that it allowed us to get ahead in our work so the rain now doesn’t slow progress.”

The ESSB structure, situated parallel to Ocean Road, is composed of three distinct components: the new Gervitz Graduate School of Education building, the Social Studies and Media Studies building and the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media building.

Fisher said the purpose of the new edifice is to more efficiently organize and concentrate academic facilities.

“A big reason for the ESSB buildings is to consolidate academic programs. Right now, several programs including social sciences and media studies are sharing space with other academic programs on the east side of campus,” Fisher said. “What we’re trying to do with ESSB is provide room on the east side of campus for other programs to expand where they were previously sharing space, and also provide state-of-the-art facilities for academic programs on the west side of campus.”

ESSB should cost the university $101,787,000 according to the Office of Design & Construction Services report. The building was in large part state-funded, however the building was also partially financed through donations from alumnus and actor Michael Douglas, Marcy Carsey of the Carsey-Werner Company and the Pollock family.

CFTVNM will include a two-story state-of-the-art theater with seating for 298 people, equipped with a sound studio behind the theater.

The GGSE building will span four stories and 97,300 square feet, containing classrooms, faculty offices, meeting rooms, film screening rooms and staff support spaces. Similarly, the Social Studies and Media Studies building will have four stories and similar amenities.

Located on El Colegio Road, the San Clemente Graduate Student Housing complex will comprise 314,000 square feet of apartments with 327 living units and 976 beds in a total of 21 three-story buildings, according to the Campus Design and Facilities Web site. Additionally, the San Clemente parking structure located on Stadium Road will create 785 parking spaces. Unlike existing campus housing, San Clemente is reserved exclusively for graduate students.

According to Fisher, installing a strictly graduate student housing complex is an unprecedented addition designed to increase the competitiveness UCSB’s graduate programs.

“We’ve historically never had strictly graduate student housing before. The school wants to attract more and better grad students, so the idea is to be able to provide amenities as good as, or better than they could find on a different campus,” Fisher said.

San Clemente will cost a projected $153,805,000, according to the Office of Design & Construction Services report. This sum is significantly higher than the initial budget, but when recent escalation of construction costs is taken into account the budget increase makes sense, Fisher said. UCSB intends to repay loans taken out to fund the San Clemente structures with rent future graduate tenants will pay.