With the state’s fiscal picture improving, UC Santa Barbara is set to break ground on a $74.3 million bioengineering center this summer.
UCSB has a well-regarded bioengineering focus despite not offering a degree in the field. The UC Regents approved the three-story, 48,000-square-foot project in 2010, but the state has been unable to provide its portion of the money for the project.
In a news release, UCSB said Chancellor Henry Yang recently restarted negotiations over the project and helped secure $26.5 million from the state. UC officials gave the project the highest level of funding priority, the university said.
“Our existing and fast-growing strengths in bioengineering, together with the collaboration with colleagues from various disciplines on our campus and in our community, have helped us make a compelling case for this building proposal,” Yang said in a news release.
UCSB doesn’t offer a degree in bioengineering, but its research is some of the most influential in the country. In 2007, the Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UCSB No. 2 in the nation for biomedical engineering research impact. The school did not repeat that ranking for the most recent year, although its electrical and computer engineering program ranked No. 2 in the country for research impact, behind only Princeton University, Harvard University and Yale University, which were all tied for first place.
Beyond the state funding, the $47.8 million balance of the project cost will come from so-called Garamendi bonds, which allow UCSB to pledge revenue from faculty research in the building to pay down debts.