The new Highway 217 entrance to UCSB – often visitors’ first view of the campus – is nearly complete, though heavy rainfall is slowing construction.

Work on the roundabout-style East Gate is projected to conclude by late April. The gate will feature three separate walls dividing the two lanes of traffic, with a 102-foot-long curved, metal arch spanning all three walls. One wall will feature the official University of California, Santa Barbara seal and another will bear the name Henley Gate, so named after alumni Jeff and Judy Henley, who donated the $2,000,000 for the East Gate Entrance construction.

However, according to Campus Design & Facilities Associate Vice Chancellor Marc Fisher, recent adverse weather conditions may delay completion of the project.

“The East Gate Entrance should be finished on time in April, though it’s possible that the end date may be pushed back a week because of this rain,” Fisher said.

Meanwhile, work on the Manzanita Village Loma Paloma multipurpose building, which will cost an estimated $4,000,000 in total, is expected to finish on schedule, as construction efforts were undeterred by the recent heavy rains.

The multipurpose building is comparable to the recreation rooms already present in such residence halls as Anacapa, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz. It will feature rooms and lounges for academic pursuits, in addition to space for social programming and recreational activities.

Fisher said the recreation room was an addition initially inspired by students, one that fit well with pre-existing designs.

“It’s a project that’s student-driven,” Fisher said. “When Manzanita was built, it didn’t have a real recreation room. This building is really properly designed to be a recreation complex, and it’s designed by the same firms that designed the rest of Manzanita Village, so it will fit in perfectly with the other buildings.”

While Loma Paloma was included in the original plans for Manzanita Village and was scheduled for completion along with the rest of the complex in 2002, it was delayed due to lack of funding. In 2003, the university put the project up for bidding by construction companies, and was unable to find an acceptable bid. This process continued through March 2007.