UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College are preparing to submit a bid later this month for state funding to build a 624-bed student housing complex that would be run jointly by the two schools. The project, to be located next to the softball fields at Cabrillo’s Aptos campus, would also include a child care center.
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UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College are preparing to submit a bid later this month for state funding to build a 624-bed student housing complex that will be jointly run between the two schools.
On Tuesday night, the Cabrillo College governing board voted on the final draft of the plan, which Bradley Olin, Cabrillo’s assistant superintendent/vice president of finance & administrative services, said has a bit to go before the nitty-gritty details are set in stone.
However, with a deadline to submit the project application to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office by Jan. 26, the board approved the proposal’s draft for the project, which is expected to cost a total of $160 million.
The proposal outlines a plan to build a 624-bed housing complex on the grass behind the softball fields on Cabrillo’s Aptos campus. The beds would be “closely split” between UCSC and Cabrillo students.
Cabrillo previously submitted an application in October 2021 via the state’s $2 billion Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program for a 300-bed project (for only Cabrillo students) that would have cost about $60 million. The college received $240,000 for planning costs. UCSC, which had also applied for funding for its Kresge College Renewal project, did not receive the grant funding for this first of three years of funding (but was later awarded $89 million). The Kresge project (costing an estimated total of $250 million) includes increasing the college’s 365 beds to 970 beds, and adding classrooms, a computing lab and lecture halls.
Thinking the schools would have a better chance at receiving a bigger chunk of funding with a joint project, Cabrillo approached UCSC in the summer of 2022 and they’ve been working on this new proposal since.
Currently, the plan would be organized into three separate wings totaling 624 beds (271 units): a family wing with 60 units, an apartment wing with 96 units and a traditional dormitory wing with 115 units. The housing complex will also have a day care and a screening entrance to control access to the facility.
“I want to be careful with these [numbers] because they’re still conceptual numbers and we’re still working to sharpen our pencils now,” said Olin. “As we’re still looking at how the project is going to be funded versus how the development budget is taking shape.”
Olin said Cabrillo and UCSC officials feel confident in their cost assessments and what they’re asking the grant program for, but they’ve yet to decide on exact numbers.
“One of the things we’re working on right now is trying to land on a number that is comfortable for the college, does not undersell the cost of the development but is still competitive enough to earn funding from the state,” he said. “I think we’re getting pretty close.”
Cabrillo spokesperson Kristin Fabos said because the college hasn’t finalized the total cost of the project yet and UCSC hasn’t finalized how much it is contributing, the college doesn’t yet know how much it will be asking for in the application.
The applications will be reviewed and potentially awarded during the summer for the 2023-24 state budget.
FOR THE RECORD: The story was updated to clarify that UCSC eventually received state funding for the Kresge College Renewal Project.