Kresge College has been home to a diverse community since 1971, now it’s preparing to undergo a transformation. 

At the most recent Kresge Renewal Project town hall on Oct. 2, Interim Campus Planner and Senior Architect for UC Santa Cruz Jolie Kerns said the project is expected to break ground by June 2020, with a projected end date in 2023. The project has already begun construction and tree removal. 

“We got a lot of student input,” said Mike Yamauchi-Gleason, Senior Director of College Student Life at Kresge. “We worked very closely with Kresge Parliament, […] with Kresge staff and faculty. […] There is going to be a brand new academic building.” 

The academic building itself will house additional offices and classrooms, including a 150-seat and a 600-seat lecture hall. Eleven buildings will be renovated and five new buildings will be constructed with improved ADA accessibility.

For the first time in the college’s history, residence halls will be constructed to house over 400 first-year students, ending the apartment-only tradition at Kresge. 

The project includes plans for the Owl’s Nest Cafe and Kresge Town Hall to be demolished and rebuilt by the project’s end date.

“Jolie [Kerns] worked very hard to make sure, throughout the three year planning process, that we were minimizing construction in sites with old large trees and sites where the tree ecosystems were robust and vital to habitat,” said Kresge College Provost Ben Leeds Carson. 

Even so, students expressed concern the construction will harm the natural environment of Kresge College.

To keep the student body involved in the project, Kerns and her architect team will continue hosting monthly town halls throughout the entire project in the Porter I-Lounge, with times to be announced later on.