University Centers History
On this page, you will find information related to the 2003 University Centers Expansion and Fee Referendum. Students voted in the spring of 2003 to increase the University Centers Fee to expand and renovate the Price Center and Student Center. The increased fee went into effect in 2008, when the Price Center East was opened.
The student population at UCSD is growing by approximately 1,000 students per year to approximately 30,000 in 2010. The current University Centers (Price Center and Student Center) facilities were not designed to accommodate the needs of 30,000 students, and the State of California does not pay for non-academic facilities.
The Student Initiated University Centers Expansion and Renovation Fee Referendum, approved by UCSD Students in Spring 2003, will accommodate the growing student population and bring new energy to the center of campus.
Student Initiated University Centers Expansion and Renovation Fee Referendum
As recommended by the student initiated Associated Students University Centers Expansion Task Force the following is proposed:
Do you support a $39 per student, per quarter fee, to be collected upon completion and opening projected for Fall 2007, for an expanded and renovated University Centers?
The student population at UCSD is growing by approximately 1,000 students per year to approximately 30,000 in 2010. The current University Centers facilities (the Price Center, Student Center, and Che Café) were not designed to accommodate the needs of 30,000 students. The State of California does not pay for non-academic facilities. To accommodate this growth the new facilities would include:

(Click any entry to read more)
  • 24-hour study lounge with a computer lab, group-study rooms, and commuter student resources (including lockers, commuter kitchen, etc.)
  • The construction plan for 24-hour service in Price Center East designated levels 1 and 2 of the expansion to be open 24 hours. Levels 1 and 2 included a computer lab, group-study rooms, commuter lockers, commuter kitchen, dining tables, lounges, restrooms, and late-night dining. Level 2 was included as a 24-hour space in case the Cross-Cultural Center opted to be open 24 hours. When the building opened, the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) assessed student needs and analyzed building use patterns and determined levels 1 and 2 should be open 24 hours Sunday through Thursday. As a measure to shrink the University Centers budget deficit, in 2012, the 24-hour service was reduced by one day to Monday - Thursday to reduce costs. This decision was one of several cost-saving measures taken by the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB). UCAB has been committed to maintaining 24-hour service even though actual usage statistics which show on average fewer than 150 students use the 24-hour space between 2:30am - 6am, except during week ten and finals week.

  • Late-night restaurants and cafes including a restaurant connected to a 24-hour study lounge
  • Before opening Price Center East, the University Centers issued a request for proposal for a quick service hamburger restaurant with the requirement the operator be open any time the building is open 24 hours. Burger King was selected and is open 24 hours Monday - Thursday. Late night restaurants include Tapioca Express, which is open until midnight. At the request of the University Centers, several restaurants, including Subway and Espresso Roma have attempted to operate after midnight and subsequently discontinued the practice because their sales were low and did not cover their costs.

  • More diverse food offerings including healthy low-cost places to eat Interior dining seating at the Grove Cafe
  • With the Price Center East expansion, the University Centers issued leases to several new restaurants, including Bombay Coast Indian Tandoor and Curry Express, Santorini Greek Island Grill, Tapioca Express, and Zanzibar at The Loft. The restaurants were selected by students on the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) based on a survey of the student body. All four restaurants are locally owned businesses selected in part because of their commitment to serving freshly prepared, healthy menu items. Bombay Coast offers a broad mix of vegetarian dishes, and both Santorini Greek Island Grill and Zanzibar offer several vegetarian options. Each of the restaurants funded the construction of their kitchens and service areas.

  • Interior dining seating at the Grove Cafe
  • As part of the Student Center renovation and expansion, additional indoor seating was provided for the Grove Cafe. The cafe space, which has since closed, will become an authentic Mexican food restaurant. The restaurant will serve freshly made meals and will be a family owned restaurant instead of a corporate chain. The selection process has been completed, and the new vendor will be announced once a lease has been successfully negotiated.

  • Additional indoor and outdoor dining seating
  • The Price Center East Atrium provides 417 additional dining seats, and an additional 156 seats were provided on patio spaces surrounding the building. Additionally, Zanzibar at The Loft has seating for 117 diners. A dining table for 8 was installed near the commuter kitchen, and the nearby lounge includes additional study/dining tables for 12.

    A new courtyard with bench seating was added to the Student Center, providing additional seating that is well utilized, especially on Wednesdays for the vegan lunches provided through the Food Coop. Ten tables and 40 seats were added to the Hump Plaza area.

  • Grocery store in the Price Center
  • The Sunshine Market, located on level 1 of Price Center East, is operated by the UCSD Bookstore. The Bookstore funded the construction of the space. The markets sells fresh produce, breads, deli meats, dairy products, personal care items, and a large selection of grab and go meals.

  • Expanded General Store at the Student Center
  • The General Store moved into a larger space (from 1,200 square feet to 2,043 square feet) as part of the Student Center expansion and renovation project. In 2010, the General Store and UCAB reached an agreement to swap locations with Campus Bike & Skate. The move to the smaller bike shop premises for the General Store yielded a more central location in the Student Center and a reduction in rent for the General Store. University Centers covered the costs of the move and installation of a new security system for the General Store.

    In addition to the General Store, Groundwork Bookstore and the Food Coop at the Student Center benefited from the referendum. Groundwork was relocated to a larger and more central location in the Student Center. The expansion covered the cost of outfitting the interior of its new location. The referendum also funded a remodel and expansion of the Food Coop kitchen and created an outdoor seating area adjacent to the Food Coop.

  • Convenient retail services (such as a full-service bank, hair stylist, etc.)
  • Based on a survey completed by over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, several retail services were added. Through a competitive selection process, UCAB selected Chase Bank, Kaplan Test Prep, and Salon 101(opening soon) to lease space in the Price Center. Each retailer leased an empty space which it built out at its expense. In addition, each retailer was required to pay a competitive market rent to support the operations of the University Centers. Further, the retailers pay for their utility usage and their share of costs associated with maintaining the common areas of the building.

  • Expansion of Soft Reserves and Lecture Notes
  • AS Lecture Notes and AS Soft Reserves were provided an expanded space in the Student Center. To effectively administer both services, they were moved into a single space which was designed around their needs.

  • Expanded full-service post office
  • The UCSD Postal Center moved to a larger location on level 1 of Price Center East, providing additional services and easier access.

  • 84 additional student organization offices and a student organization resource center
  • The Expansion and Renovation Referendum was passed by students in 2003 with construction of Price Center East anticipated to begin in 2005 once the architectural plans were completed. The student fee to fund the expansion was calculated based on assumptions about construction costs developed by UCSD Facilities Design. Because the global building boom reached its highest level around 2005, actual growth in construction costs was significantly higher than projected. At that time, construction costs for many UCSD building projects (e.g., Student Services Center, Conrad Prebys Music Center, Price Center Expansion) exceeded their budgets. Cost estimators projected the Price Center expansion to be $7 million over budget. Decisions about ways to scale back the expansion to get the project under budget had to be made.

    The University Centers Building Advisory Committee (BAC), composed mostly of students, including student representatives from UCAB, AS, GSA, and the College Councils, was faced with this difficult task. The students on the BAC sought to preserve spaces they knew would be used by a significant number of students. The spaces included dining areas, lounges, computer labs, meeting rooms, and event space. To get the project within budget, the BAC had to rethink its approach to delivering low-use student space. The BAC concluded it could honor the intent of the referendum to increase student organization office space by implementing a shared office concept where two, three or more organizations could share large office spaces. For the 2012-13 academic year, 85 student organizations were allocated space within the Price Center and Student Center. Currently, 4,839 square feet is allocated for student organization offices, increased from 2,853 square feet pre-expansion. Despite the adjustments made by the BAC, the construction bids for the expansion still came in over budget. The University Centers spent $2.9 million from its reserve to make the project happen. Even with the inflated construction market and budget difficulties, the BAC was successful in ensuring additional square footage was provided to the Graduate Student Association and Associated Students, including Volunteer Connection, All-Campus Transfer Student Association and All-Campus Commuter Board

    One Stop The One Stop, on level 3 of Price Center East is the student organization resource center that was conceived as part of the expansion and renovation project. It is staffed by Student Involvement and Leadership Consultants (student positions) who assist student organizations with planning events, reserving space, seeking funding, and scheduling appointments with their advisors and fund managers. Additionally, a poster room and student organization mailboxes are conveniently located nearby.

  • Renovation of student organization offices at the Student Center
  • The student organization offices at the Student Center were repaired, painted, and carpeted as part of the renovation project.

  • Additional student event and programming space
  • Additional student event and programming spaces include the Ballroom East, The Forum, and the Dance Room. Ballroom East includes two green rooms and a built in stage, which reduces equipment costs for student organizations requiring a stage, and two green rooms and a restroom backstage. The Dance Room includes floor to ceiling mirrors on one wall and a floating floor intended for student organizations that hold dance rehearsals.

  • More social lounge spaces
  • The new Commuter Lounge at Price Center includes comfortable couches and arm chairs, group study tables, task lighting, and TVs for entertainment. It is conveniently located on level 1 of Price Center East, near the shuttle stop turn-around, the commuter kitchen, commuter lockers, a computer lab, and the offices of the All Campus Transfer Association (ACTA) and the All Campus Commuter Board (ACCB). Additionally, several lounges were placed throughout the Price Center East, near the Cross-Cultural Center and Ballroom East on level 2, and near the student organization offices on Level 3.

  • Face lift to the exterior of the Student Center including more and improved lighting
  • Approximately $7 million was devoted to renovating and expanding the Student Center. The scope of the project included:
    • Provided a larger space for the General Store Coop (from 1,200 square feet to 2,043 square feet)
    • Provided Groundwork Coop with a larger more central space, a new storage room, and new furnishings, shelving and equipment
    • Renovated and expanded the kitchen of the Food Coop by 100 square feet
    • Upgraded the exterior of the Student Center facility by replacing sidings and railings that had wood rot, painting the exterior of the facility, adding new stairways and railings, resurfacing the 2nd floor walkways and decks, repaving the ground floor walkways, introducing new building signage, adding seating benches, and increasing the exterior lighting
    • Complied with ADA requirements by adding an elevator to the facility and remodeling restrooms
    • Constructed a new computer lab and lounge space called the Tree House Lounge
    • Created a new outdoor courtyard adjacent to the Food Coop
    • Expanded the Campus Bike & Skate (formerly known as the UCSD Bike Shop) by 150 square feet
    • Created an interior seating area for the Grove Cafe
    • Renovated student organization office space and KSDT offices (includes new carpeting and paint)
    • Expanded and renovated AS Soft Reserves and AS Lecture Notes (includes new carpeting and paint)
    • Relocated Graduate Student Association office to a larger 2nd floor location
    • Added ATMs
    • Added dining seating to Hump patio and second floor patio

    The project was completed in 2008. Read more about projects at the Student Center, including phase I of the expansion and renovation of the Student Center, which was funded from University Centers' reserves and Student Affairs.
  • Student-run Recruitment & Retention Center
  • A 2,500 square foot space for a student-run recruitment and retention center was allocated in Price Center West, level 2, which is now occupied by SPACES (Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service).
Print Progress Report

Statement of Conditions:
  • The fee will not be collected until the facilities are completed and open to students, and is estimated to begin 2007.
  • The fee will be an addition to the existing University Centers fee, and shall cover the costs associated with constructing, operating, and maintaining the facilities.
  • A Building Advisory Committee, overseeing the planning, design, and construction of the expanded facility, shall have at least 2/3 students and shall be co-chaired by a student.
  • Final design of the expansion/renovation shall be approved by the Building Advisory Committee. AS, GSA and the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) shall have the opportunity to comment on the final design.
  • UCAB, which is comprised of a majority of student voting members, shall oversee the space allocation, general use policy, rent assessments, custodial standards, capital improvements, maintenance, purchase of equipment, and hours of operation for the facility.
  • The Chancellor has committed all the funds necessary for the relocation of the UCSD police station to make room for an expanded Price Center.
  • The Chancellor has committed all the funds necessary for the construction of a new and permanent Cross Cultural Center to be incorporated into the Price Center expansion site.
  • Student Affairs has committed all the funds necessary for the relocation of the Office of Religious Affairs to an expanded Price Center.
  • Any fundraising specific to the University Centers beyond the commitment of campus funds may be applied to the reduction of the fee subject to approval by UCAB
  • Expansion of the Price Center will be approximately 60,000 to 85,000 gross square feet of indoor space (about half the size of the current Price Center).
  • Expansion of the Student Center will be approximately 10,000 to 15,000 gross square feet of indoor space.
  • The University Centers fee shall be assessed to summer students beginning in Fall 2007.
  • Increase of the fee shall not be made without an affirmative vote by a student fee referendum held in accordance with the policy on Procedures for Student Consultation, in the Planning, Construction and Operation of Student Fee-Funded Facilities (section 18.14 of the Policies and Procedures Applying to Student Activities).
Meet the Architects
new Price Center Expansion Design Earns Prestigious Architecture Award
cannon design
Cannon Design
Public Architecture & Design