Campus Renovations

Merced College Receives $3M Federal Grant for Renovations

Merced College in Merced, Calif., was recently awarded with a $3-million construction and renovation grant by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The college has announced that it will use this grant, in combination with the remaining 2002 Measure H Bond funds, to renovate the Vocational Building near the heart of campus.

Originally built in 1967, the two-story, 29,034-square-foot Vocational Building is home to the college’s business programs, as well as labs for computer science, administrative office management, drafting technology, accounting, and foods and nutrition. It also houses the International Student Services Office.

“We have a twofold mission to serve our students and to meet the needs of our community, and these projects are going to dramatically improve our ability to do both,” said Merced College President Chris Vitelli. “Our students and instructors are going to love the new spaces we’re creating for them, and our community will continue to benefit greatly from these career technical and instructional programs.”

Planned renovations include:

  • Modernizing interior labs and classrooms
  • Reconfiguring spaces to install programmatic functions
  • Updating HVAC systems
  • Adding new lighting and networking
  • Updating handrails, bathrooms, and drinking fountains with accessibility in mind
  • Replacing the roof system
  • Upgrading classroom technology
  • Adding new landscaping
  • Repainting the interior and exterior

Additionally, the remodeling project will also add a new culinary lab featuring a commercial kitchen.

“The new space will be a prominent fixture in the heart of the Merced campus, and will continue the college’s long tradition of educating and upskilling the local workforce,” said Bryan Tassey, the Dean of Career Technical Education.

The college is still developing a timeline for the project. Officials expressed hope that construction will begin next summer and finish by spring 2024.

“The EDA grant application was a yearlong process that involved gathering local industry, workforce development, and dignitary support,” said Marcus Metcalf, Director of Capital Projects and Construction. “Many parties were involved in the effort, and we are very grateful for the award of this federal grant.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].