Construction on the newest addition to UC Santa Barbara’s campus is now complete, just in time for Fall Quarter.

The long-awaited Education, Social Sciences and Media Studies complex forms a 209,750 square foot zone of classrooms, offices and facilities on the west side of campus. Located across from Robertson Gym and just east of the intersection of Ocean Road and El Colegio Road, the complex is made up of three separate buildings.

The Education Building serves as the new site for the Koegel Autism Center, the Hosford Counseling & Psychological Services Clinic and the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, while the Social Sciences & Media Studies Building is home to several departments of the College of Letters & Science. The third structure is the soon to be completed Pollock Theater, part of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television & New Media.

The buildings were all built with a number of environmentally friendly features, including special vertical shutters designed to work in tandem with ceiling fans to reduce the need for air conditioning. Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Design & Facilities Marc Fisher said the campus anticipates receiving at least a silver level Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“While it is nice to receive LEED certification credit for our work, the more important outcome of this effort is to produce buildings which are healthier for their occupants, require fewer resources to build and operate and generally produce a lesser impact on the environment,” Fisher said.

These new buildings had a majority of their $101.85 million construction costs covered by a series of State General Obligation Bonds approved by voters in 2002, 2004 and 2006 initiative ballots. These bonds contributed a total of $81.02 million. The remaining $20.82 million came in the form of private donations to the university.

In a press release, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said he was grateful for the addition of the complex to the campus community.

“Our campus has looked forward to the addition of this complex for a very long time – the instructional and office space that it will provide are critically needed,” Yang said.

Other construction projects on campus have not been so fortunate in regards to funding. Due in part to California’s budget crisis, the proposed renovations of Davidson Library and Phelps Hall remain stagnant at the planning and design stages.

According to Martie Levy, director of Capital Development at Budget & Planning, these projects, which were originally slated to begin this year, have been deferred until 2011. Other projects experiencing delays due to budget issues include ongoing campus infrastructure renovations, such as new gas and power lines that were originally scheduled to be completed this summer, and seismic corrections and renovation to the Arts Building.

Levy said that because some of these renovations were so vital, the delay in funding required the Dept. of Art to be temporarily relocated.

“Since we don’t know when funding might be released and to minimize disruption to academic units, we have relocated the Dept. of Art to temporary space that the campus renovated for this purpose in Building 434 and the Old Gym,” Levy said.