Two new campus buildings honored at Riverside beautification awards

Author: Imran Ghori
January 29, 2024

UC Riverside’s new School of Medicine building and Student Health and Counseling Center won top awards in the city of Riverside’s annual beautification awards.

The two buildings, which both opened last fall, were honored at Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s State of the City address Thursday, Jan. 25, as part of the Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful Awards.

The program, now in its 37th year, is sponsored by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the City of Riverside’s public works department. It looks at criteria such as architectural design, general maintenance, and landscaping in recognizing significant buildings and projects.

The School of Medicine Education Building 2 won the Mayor’s Award while the Student Health and Counseling Center won third place in the new construction category.

This is the fifth consecutive year that UCR projects have been honored at the awards. Last year, the Student Success Center was honored.

School of Medicine Education II building on September 15, 2023. (UCR/Stan Lim)

“It is very rewarding to be recognized by the city, as both the School of Medicine Education Building II and the Student Health and Counseling Center buildings manifest the important goals of the UCR campus to provide a community for the students, faculty and staff that is welcoming, beautiful, and inclusive,” said Jacqueline Norman, campus architect.

The five-story, 90,000-square-foot SOM ED II is the school’s largest expansion and the first designed specifically for its needs. It includes state-of-the-art lecture halls, classrooms, administrative offices, student lounges, and other support space. The building provides much-needed space for students, faculty, and staff and allows for expansion of the medical school class size.

In its award application, UCR stated that the project “effectively transformed what was a `back of house’ parking lot/ loading dock area into a vibrant plaza that welcomes students from across campus to linger, study and socialize, and that can serve the greater Riverside community by facilitating health and wellness events.”

The two-story, 39,000-square-foot Student Health and Counseling Center brought together medical, mental health, and wellbeing services into one location and modern facility for the first time. It provides expanded space for student medical and counseling services as well as other related wellness resources.

Student Health and Counseling Center. (UCR/Kristopher Vargas)

The application notes that the new center “is nearly double in size from the previous building and creates a more accessible, modern facility strategically located near the campus housing area that welcomes members of the student community and conveys a commitment to quality care, innovation in technical, medical and clinical services, student support and well-being.”

Deborah Deas, vice chancellor of health sciences and School of Medicine dean, and Elizabeth Mondragan, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, accepted the awards on behalf of the campus.