As part of UC Santa Barbara’s plan to develop a series of faculty and staff residences along the road marking the border between the campus and Isla Vista, the university intends to demolish and relocate its Student Health building, prompting outcry from some members of the campus community.
The proposed lot would be moved to the other side of Ocean Road into a significantly smaller facility — currently the ground parking lot next to the Parking Lot 22 structure — a change reflected in publicly available campus planning documents dating back at least four years.
UCSB spokesperson Kiki Reyes said in a statement to the Nexus that “the replacement and relocation of Student Health is a component of the Ocean Road project. The University intends for student health services to be a continuing service offered by the campus, on the campus.”
Because of confusion regarding the project, campus group Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) tabled outside The Arbor against the demolition of the current Student Health building, alleging that little information was available.
“There is a very limited amount of publicly available information about when this demolition will happen, what it will mean for Student Health services, and when a new building may (or may not) be constructed,” YDSA said in a March 9 statement. “What little information we could find, in disparate memos, reports, meeting minutes, and project pages, is sparsely detailed and riddled with contradictions.”
YDSA cites internal changes of building a new Student Health building and demolition of the old building from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the project over time as failures of university management, with no specific mention of what “temporary” Student Health services during the building process could constitute.
Per UCSB’s Long Range Development Plan — the contract the university has with the city of Goleta and Santa Barbara County to build a certain amount of new housing units — construction of the Ocean Road project must be completed by 2025.
Currently, the UCSB website states that Phase 1 of the project, which includes one-third of the required housing units, will be completed within the 2024-25 timeline.
The current student health facility is too small as it is now and you’re going to put them into a smaller one. Someone at the university needs to wake up.
PHASE ONE: cut down all the trees and replace them with a gentrified “urban street” of Town House beach condos for sale to the well to do. Contact Supervisors JOAN HARTMANN and LAURA CAPPS and tell them we want HOUSING FOR THE PEOPLE! Expand STUDENT HOUSING and leave our beloved EUCALYPTUS CURTAIN ALONE. The UC can build high end condos for sale on the spot where they were going to do Munger Hall. This community belongs to US, and it is up to us to plan it. SO, GET INVOLVED.