Last Friday marked a historic occasion as the University of California San Diego (UCSD) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the much-anticipated Ridge Walk North Living and Learning Neighborhood. The event took place on October 20, 2023. The design-build team of Hensel Phelps, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney (EYRC) Architects, HMC Architects, and prominent UCSD academic figures, including UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla attended the event.

Chancellor Khosla took the stage at the event podium and emphasized the significance of the Ridge Walk North project. He highlighted how this ambitious endeavor will address the growing demand for on-campus student housing while creating a warm, inclusive atmosphere for students at Thurgood Marshall College. The project aims to do more than provide beds; it is designed to be a place where students can explore, discover, and connect, fostering a sense of belonging and community.

A Vision for the Future
The Ridge Walk North Living and Learning Neighborhood project encompasses three new residence halls, which will collectively offer housing for over 2,400 Thurgood Marshall College students. These residence halls are more than just living spaces; they are designed to be a haven for students, promoting equity and inclusivity. Each hall features welcoming front porches and communal areas, ensuring every student feels like they belong. In addition to the residence halls, this mixed-use neighborhood includes an economics building, administrative facilities, extra lecture halls, and various community programs. These amenities, including a Basic Needs Center, E-Sports Center, and Goody’s Cafe + Market, are crucial to creating a holistic student experience beyond academics.

Connecting the Campus Community
One of the project’s key features is its ability to strengthen and connect the UC San Diego campus. Students will have improved access to landmarks like the Historic Grove and Geisel Library by introducing revitalized nodes and plazas along Ridge Walk and important campus thoroughfares. This enhanced connectivity will encourage students to engage more with their surroundings, creating a vibrant, connected campus community.

Sustainability at the Core
The project’s all-electric design incorporates high-performance strategies such as low-flow water fixtures, increased access to natural light and views, and durable materials. This commitment to sustainability positions the project to achieve LEED Gold certification, further solidifying UCSD’s dedication to a more environmentally friendly future.

The Ridge Walk North Living and Learning Neighborhood is a testament to UCSD’s commitment to its students, inclusivity, and sustainability. This milestone reflects the university’s dedication to providing a supportive, innovative, and eco-friendly campus environment.