Press Releases

DPR Breaks Ground on 150,000-Sq.-Ft. Expansion to College of Engineering at University of California, Santa Cruz

With a recent wave of school construction projects across the state, DPR Construction, Inc., a forward-thinking national commercial general contractor and construction manager, announces the groundbreaking on its latest education project - a major expansion to the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). The $45 million project includes a 142,000-sq.-ft. engineering building and 8,000-sq.-ft. lecture hall and will house a mix of classrooms, graduate offices and labs, and a floor devoted to the CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) program. The UCSC project follows an emerging trend in higher education market, where institutions are using a construction manager at risk approach for selecting the team and managing the project.

New Engineering Building for UCSC

Selected through a process that included demonstrated team experience and scheduling effectiveness in addition to proposed budget, DPR is assisting the university with cost-savings and schedule compression.

"We had to accelerate the design and construction process so that the project could be included in a package of University of California facilities to be funded by Governor Davis statewide economic stimulus package. The CM-at-Risk approach we are using allowed us to get DPR on board early to help with schedule and design decisions to fast-track the process," said Frank Zwart, Associate Vice Chancellor at UC Santa Cruz.

"The results to date have been excellent. DPR integrated itself immediately with the team, working closely with executive architects Ashen + Allen Los Angeles and UCSC project managers to meet our ambitious schedule and improve the design of the building," said Zwart.

"Our early involvement enabled us to help reduce the budget by $2 million through constructibility and schedule input and more competitive subcontractor bidding. We are also able to deliver the project quicker and with fewer disruptions," said DPR Project Manager George Hurley.

The new facility, being constructed just 75 ft. from the existing Jack Baskin Engineering Building, will house a mix of two 50-seat and one 100-seat classrooms, graduate office and support labs, and a floor devoted to the CITRIS program, the collaborative public-private partnership between the UC System and major high-tech corporations. The lecture hall will be used for large speaking and class events.

The facility is among the first in the Bay Area to utilize an unbonded braced frame system. The new technology, developed in Japan after the countrys last major earthquake in Kobe in 1995, is used to increase seismic stability and follows a different sequence of construction than traditional steel frames. For further stability, the frame rests on a four-ft.-thick mat slab, which was poured onto densified soil. Working around sometimes hectic campus traffic, DPR crews are taking extra precautions to minimize the impact to every day activities.

"Every event, from the beginning of the project, has been carefully planned and mapped out to ensure the safety of people on campus and to minimize disruption. The entrance to the campus is about two miles from the project site, so each subcontractor is given a specific trucking plan through the center of campus. We work closely with the campus traffic control department to develop the plans, then distribute to the subcontractors," said Hurley.

With a 21-month schedule, the new facility is scheduled to be turned over to UCSC for the start of the 2004 school year.

Projects throughout Northern California

In addition to UCSC, DPR is applying its technical expertise to the construction of complex, state-of-the-art education projects throughout Northern California, including:

University of California, Berkeley Jean Hargrove Music Library:
DPR is wrapping up construction of a 25,000-sq.-ft., three-level building to house the librarys Special Collections. Selected based on project approach, team experience and fee, DPR is scheduled to complete the project in May.

University of the Pacific Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinic Building:
Drawing on its technical expertise, DPR is nearing completion of a two-story, 52,000-sq.-ft. learning center and clinic. The facility will include classrooms, lecture hall and a clinic through which UOP will offer dental and medical care to the San Joaquin community.

Butte Community College Allied Health / Public Services and Public Safety Facilities:
This three-building, 76,660-sq.-ft. expansion, completed in September 2002, houses a mock hospital ward, respiratory lab, courtroom and law library, plus classrooms for nursing, emergency medical technician and police training programs.

Chinese Christian School, Alameda:
A 35,000-sq.-ft., two-story classroom building, with additional phases that will include a multipurpose building, worship center and middle and senior high school building.

Emerging Trend in Higher Education - CM-at-Risk

Following an emerging trend in the higher-education market, many of these facilities are utilizing a construction manager at risk approach for selecting the team and managing the project. Used in the private sector for many years, CM-at-Risk allows institutions to select the construction manager early in the project based on a combination of qualifications and services, in lieu of the traditional competitive bid.

"The CM-at-Risk approach allows higher-education institutions to bring DPR on board early in the project to provide input on reducing cost and schedule and building maximum value to the project," said Neal Cordeiro, an estimator in DPR's Sacramento office. "With this approach, colleges and universities can take advantage of the same cost and schedule benefits that the private sector has enjoyed for years."

"Many of these large projects encompass a complex range of building types, including hospital and research laboratories, data centers and server rooms, and high-end executive conference facilities, and rely on DPR's cross-section of expertise in biotech, healthcare and corporate office construction," said Cordeiro.

About DPR Construction, Inc.
A forward-thinking national commercial general contactor and construction manager, DPR Construction, Inc., has been "building great things," since it was founded in 1990 by Doug Woods, Peter Nosler and Ron Davidowski (a.k.a. the initials or D, P and R), including:

Great project teams across the country.

Great relationships with customers, such as University of California, Stanford University, Butte Community College, University of the Pacific, Art Institute of Los Angeles, and Otis College of Art & Design.

Great results in 2002 with recognition for its collaborative approach, safety program, use of technology and green building practices.

Specializing in technically demanding and environmentally sound projects, DPR serves the biotech/pharmaceutical, broadcast, corporate, education, entertainment, healthcare, mission critical (data/telecom), semiconductor, and warehouse and distribution industries. The privately held, employee-owned company employs more than 2,000 professional staff and union crafts persons. For more information, please visit DPRs Website at