Franklin Antonio Hall Construction Set to Begin Winter 2020

Photo courtesy of Eric Smith, University of San Diego

UC San Diego will commence construction on a new engineering research and lecture building located in Warren College beginning in January 2020. Named after the Qualcomm co-founder who donated $30 million to UCSD, Franklin Antonio Hall will be built where Warren Lot P502 is currently located, across from Atkinson Hall. 

As a result of the new hall, Lot P502 will be permanently closed. The lot’s closure in January will result in the loss of 355 faculty parking spaces. This closure comes about a year after the closure of the Muir Parking Lot to make way for the North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood, which saw a loss of 970 spaces, and the opening of Osler Parking Structure, which added 1,350 spaces.

“Close proximity and adjacency to the existing Jacobs School of Engineering neighborhood is absolutely critical to achieve the programmatic goals of the project,” said Director of Campus Planning Robert Clossin. “As the Warren College neighborhood is nearly built-out, [Lot P502] is the last remaining development parcel with the engineering complex that could be developed.”

The closure of Lot P502 will most immediately affect Jacobs School faculty members, who will likely now have to park at Hopkins Parking Structure and walk to their offices. According to Transportation Services Director Josh Kavanagh, short-term faculty parking will be added to Lot P503 for faculty members who are only on campus for short intervals of time.

When construction begins in January, approximately 385 students spots in Hopkins Parking Structure will be converted to compensate for the loss of A and B spots in P502. These A and B spots will repopulate Hopkins while the remaining 225 S spots in Hopkins will be reclassified as residential student-only (SR) parking.

“We’re going to replace not just one-to-one but 110% of that space with additions that are going to occur in both Pangea, those will be S spaces, and then in the Regents lots, which will be [Discount] D spaces,” said Kavanagh during a Parking Town Hall held on August 23

Transportation Services currently plans to convert and reallocate 70 spaces to S parking in Pangea and 330 spaces to Discount spaces in Regents Lots P703 and 704. A morning express shuttle between the Regents parking lots and Price Center was also added to accommodate the additional stalls that will be added.

Additionally, shuttle lines near the site, such as the North Campus Shuttle are expected to be minimally affected by construction and run on a regular timetable. Kavanagh intends for two-way traffic to be maintained along Voigt Drive, barring extraneous circumstances. 

When completed, the hall will include two 100-student classrooms, one 250-student lecture auditorium, and a café on its ground floor. The basement, second, third, and fourth floors will house collaborative laboratories comprised of a wide variety of scientific and engineering disciplines.

“The student body of the Jacobs School has grown a lot, and Franklin Antonio Hall will provide important teaching and research facilities for our students and professors,” Albert Pisano, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, told The Triton in an email.

Originally, the hall was expected to be completed by December 2021, but the start of construction was delayed from September 2019 to January 2020. According to Clossin, the delay was due to readjustments needed to satisfy California environmental protection regulations. The hall is now slated to open in Spring 2022.

The new engineering hall is just one of numerous construction projects currently in progress across campus. These projects and their impact on campus life have received vocal discontent among students who argue that the campus is more concerned with its future than its current students.

Warren College Council (WCC) President Elizabeth Niculescu hopes to form a student advisory committee that will work with campus planning so that student interests are represented and can influence future construction initiatives.

“I think it is very clear that the priorities of high-level decision makers at UCSD are not centered around the students that are currently on this campus,” said WCC President Niculescu in an email to The Triton. “Sixth College and Muir have been literally located next to construction pits since last year, and now Warren will be the same.”

Samir Nomani is a Staff Writer at The Triton. You can follow him at @samir_the_first.