C.W. Driver caps $70M UC Santa Barbara pavilion

Pasadena, California-based contractor C.W. Driver has finished a $70 million, 95,000-square-foot lecture hall and classroom structure at the University of California Santa Barbara, according to a Sept. 6 news release

The school’s new Interactive Learning Pavilion provides approximately 2,000 student seats spread across five lecture halls, three rooms for project-based learning and 20 flexible discussion spaces. In total, there are 32 new spaces, with a range of capacities from 30 to 350 students.

Built in the heart of the campus, the project required an early re-route of bicycle and pedestrian lanes, as well as planning for just-in-time deliveries in the early morning to keep clear of student traffic when school was in session. 

“We worked closely with the university to develop off-site staging where delivery vehicles could enter the campus individually, therefore limiting the number of trucks on campus at any given time and minimizing the impact of construction on the community,” said Jeff Bara, senior project manager at C.W. Driver. 

C.W. Driver collaborated with LMN Architects on the project. Consisting of two major buildings with an open-air street space between them, the structures have exposed stairs and terraces, while upper levels provide views of the Pacific Ocean. The structure, which received LEED Gold certification, will be powered exclusively by electricity generated without using any natural gas and also includes 1,700 new bicycle parking spots. 

The completion is the latest in a string of education-related construction announcements this year. In the K-12 space, many jurisdictions ramped up building and renovation while students were on summer break. Meanwhile, Jacobs landed a $517 million contract to modernize Texas schools. 

C.W. Driver, a 104-year old company, has completed numerous higher education projects throughout California, including the Pomona-Pitzer College Rains Athletic Center; CSU Dominguez Hill’s Science and Innovation Building; and CSU San Bernardino Coyote Village and Coyote Commons, according to the firm.

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