Leo Yue / The Highlander

Before in-person instruction was officially ceased during March 2020, construction zones were a common sight on campus. From the construction projects occurring on the outskirts of campus to the building of the Student Success Center near the Highlander Union Building, students were familiarized with the blue fences that would all-too-often increase walking distance across campus by at least a few minutes. Though the last completed project that students may remember is the art installation outside of the Art Building with signs reading “Change,” there are a few new additions to the UCR campus that have been completed since or will be completed by the in-person return this fall. 

First opened a decade after UCR’s founding in 1907, the Barn was originally used as a horse stable. Its historical standing as one of the first buildings that helped shape the image of the Riverside campus paved the way for its numerous purposes over the decades: from becoming one of the first restaurants on campus to becoming a concert venue where numerous bands were hosted. After a construction timespan of about two years and a budget of $30 million, the Barn is open for business after being completed during early May of last year. Its features include a main restaurant area, a faculty and staff lounge, a concert venue and an outdoor patio, ensuring that the Barn will likely become one of UCR’s most favored hangout spots on campus. 

Leo Yue / The Highlander

Another recently completed housing project is The Dundee Residence Hall, which is located on the north end of campus. In order to accommodate for the growing number of students attending UCR, especially those that seek to dorm, this project was deemed necessary and specifically caters to the freshman student population. It includes a fitness center, a courtyard with outdoor activities, a two-story residential restaurant, over 800 beds and other amenities to make students feel at home. 

Located in the center of campus is the Student Success Center, which is planned to be completed and ready for students as in-person instruction resumes this fall. The main part of the center consists of a lecture hall design that is unique to this campus, as it seats 400 students in a circular or round shape. The three story building will include a lounge, differing meeting rooms, various-sized lecture halls, study areas and a dining venue. 

The commuter experience is notorious for its parking struggles, and similar to many other campuses, UCR has increasingly faced a parking dilemma in terms of space and availability. For this reason, the new parking structure that is located at the campus’ east end near Lot 13 is perhaps the most anticipated addition. The parking structure is made up of four levels, includes over 1,000 parking spaces and has two entrances. It also includes an electrical vehicle charging station and space for bicycle storage.

All of these projects have a feature for every kind of student. Whether you are new to UCR or returning, the campus is set to offer an improved learning experience when students attend come September.