Construction will start Monday (June 18) on the Memorial Union’s North Courtyard, to make it more inviting and better match the surrounding areas.
The $1.5 million project will add seating, lighting and wi-fi coverage in the area immediately outside the MU. A rain garden, shade trees and other landscaping will soften the area.
Concrete work and other hardscape is scheduled to be completed before fall quarter, with landscaping continuing after that.
The MU, Campus Store, Amazon@UC Davis and Memorial Union Games Area will all remain open during the project, although the Games Area will close for the first week while crews focus on demolition directly above the Games Area. Some entrances will be closed over the summer, with signs directing visitors to alternate paths.
The renovation will also better connect the Memorial Union with the surrounding areas, and will take design cues from the brickwork of the union to create a transition between it and the nearby Memorial Union bus terminal, which has brick inlays for that same reason.
“For me one of the most important things about this — and really any project — are the connections between the project at hand and the greater campus context,” said Christina De Martini Reyes, the campus landscape architect. “We have been thinking about how people use the terminal and the need for some additional seating that people could use before they launch themselves across the street and jump on a bus.”
A more defined walkway through the North Courtyard will also connect Howard Way, which ends at the bus terminal, with Centennial Walk, the 450-foot walkway through the center of the Quad, in one continuous path that leads through the Memorial Union.
“To have that corridor of campus be finished and look nice — I’m excited about that,” said Janna Tolla, director of the Memorial Union.
One other change visitors will notice with the project is the removal of the UC Davis seal just outside the Memorial Union entrance. The seal sits above the MU Games Area, and that entire area will get new waterproofing and drainage systems. The seal is constructed in a way that makes it impossible to remove without damage, said Susan Collopy, project manager with Design and Construction Management.
Downtown construction will reach onto campus
The Third Street project, between A and B streets, involves beautification as well as safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists — and the campus has agreed to improvements on its side of the Third and A intersection to match what the city is doing. The campus is paying; the city’s contractor is doing the work.
This graphic shows traffic impacts through July. Pedestrians and bicyclists: See the yellow arrows to find your way to and from campus. Detours will be modified for a second stage of construction later in the summer.