Preparation has begun for the demolition of several buildings that once housed the Southwest Fisheries Science Center on the UC San Diego campus, employees were recently informed.
Over the past several years, contractors working for the center, which serves as the research arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have worked to construct a new $74 million, 124,000-square-foot facility to house researchers. Staff began to move into the new building, which received an “Orchid” design award from the San Diego Architectural Foundation, in February.
“The move consolidates 35+ labs, 5 shops, 4 libraries, 1.5 million specimens and 275 people from two locations with as little interruption to ongoing work as possible,” notes a release updating progress on the modernization.
One structure in the multi-building former campus, Building D, will be preserved, as will the basement of Building A, which houses infrastructure necessary for Building D. However, due to its precarious location atop a steep bluff, extensive stabilization efforts, including a massive excavation project to install tensioned-steel supporting rods must be undertaken to protect the facility from earthquakes and erosion.
Other sites formerly housing facilities will be converted to parking lots or planted with native California vegetation. Once the process is complete, the property will be returned to the control of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCSD, though more renovation to the structure will be needed to convert space to teaching and research facilities. Completion of the project is not expected until sometime in 2015.