With several new construction projects set to transform the university in the next few years, students should continue to expect the familiar sight of cranes and bulldozers dotting the landscape.

Various campus locales – including Davidson Library, housing facilities and educational buildings – will undergo renovations and additions in upcoming years. Beginning Fall 2009 and ending in Summer 2011, the Davidson Library will receive an additional facility. According to Marc Fisher, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities, the project consists of two major phases.

The first phase involves an addition – a new three-story building – to the north side of the library, which is currently an open grassy area. The facility will feature a center with a coffee shop, computer labs and additional study space. The university will construct the new building 20 feet away from the main library and possibly connect it after seismic upgrades are made during the second phase of construction. The second phase, contingent upon funding, will begin in 2012.

University Librarian Brenda Johnson said the new building aims to offer students more than the typical study environment.

“The library will be a beacon that draws people in,” Johnson said. “People looking in from the outside will be able to see all these dynamic and fun things happing, such as art exhibits and poetry readings. Research studies shows that a social component is vital to learning, and although we’re not rejecting the traditional library with books, journals and quiet study spaces, we are creating a more social area where people can multitask and work in groups.”

However, Johnson said the project has to be passed through legislation and go on the ballot as a bond issue for California residents to approve prior to construction. The expansion is set to cost $66,335,000.

Another on-campus addition will take place at the Ocean Science Education Building from 2009-10. Fisher said UCSB’s Marine Science Institute, in a joint venture with the Channel Island National Marine Sanctuary, will construct a new outreach center. According to a press release, the center – which will house aquariums, exhibits and a theater – will receive a federal grant of $4 million.

Meanwhile, Sierra Madre Student/Family Housing is scheduled for construction in Spring 2009 and set for completion in Fall 2010. The project will provide 151 units of housing space for families, as well as some faculty and staff members. The project will likely cost $75,000,000.

Both plans will be sent to the University of California Regents in July for final approval.