Campus Renovations

UC Davis Debuts Renovations to 85-Year-Old Walker Hall

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) in Davis, Calif., recently debuted a nearly total renovation of the 85-year-old Walker Hall. The two-story, north side of the facility will now serve as the campus’ Graduate Center, giving about 7,000 graduate and professional students and about 1,000 postdoctoral scholars a centralized hub for the first time in the university’s history. The back three wings of the facility have also been converted to general classroom space. The university has scheduled a grand reopening ceremony for Friday, April 8, 2022.

Walker Hall, which has been vacant since 2011, provided the ideal location for the Graduate Center. “My original motivation for proposing the center was as a space to enhance the sense of community among graduate students across campus,” said Professor Jeff Gibeling, who also served as the vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies until 2016. “Finding a place was a challenge from the beginning, especially because we had limited prospects for raising funds to build a new building.” Several other possibilities were explored before one university chancellor suggested Walker Hall, which was already scheduled for remodeling.

The Graduate Center houses amenities like mentoring and advising offices; financial and mental health services; meeting and conference rooms; a collaborative studio; a writing lounge; a graduate commons area; and a kitchen, lactation room and parent study lounge. The facility also plays home to the Postdoctoral Scholars Association, the Graduate Student Association and the GSA pantry, according to a press release.

The facility measures in at 35,805 square feet of renovated space, and it came with a price tag of about $33.4 million, according to the university’s Design and Construction Management. The university partnered with Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects for design and with Soltek Pacific for general contracting.

The project also included retrofitting spaces for seismic safety and accessibility purposes.

About the Author

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

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