Batchelor Hall

Batchelor Hall renovation nearing completion

Project provides electrical, plumbing, and mechanical upgrade to older campus building

May 16, 2024
Author: Imran Ghori
May 16, 2024

A major renovation of UC Riverside’s Batchelor Hall is nearing completion after almost two years of construction.

The work, which includes significant upgrades to the building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, will be finished by the end of June. Work began in fall 2022.

Old and outdated pipes, wiring, and mechanical equipment across four floors of the central core of the 1960s-era building were replaced with modern parts and systems. New fire sprinklers and alarms were also installed.

The building roof was replaced and two large air handlers, the size of jet engines, were installed as part of the exhaust and ventilation system.

Construction crews work on the roof of Batchelor Hall on Sept. 15, 2023. (UCR/Stan Lim)

“It was a huge job,” said John Franklin, a senior project manager with UCR’s Office of Planning, Design, and Construction.

The construction crew also added some touches to spruce up the hallways with new flooring, lighting, and drop ceilings to cover up exposed pipes.

New flooring, lighting, and ceilings were added as part of the Batchelor Hall renovation. (UCR/Imran Ghori)

The project benefited from the nearby construction of the new School of Medicine Education Building II, which opened last fall. Batchelor and the adjacent Keen Hall are now connected to a new electric generator that was installed as part of SOM ED II, providing those buildings with a back-up power source.

Franklin said the project construction team made a point to minimize disruption to the occupants by working over four phases in different areas of Batchelor.

New mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were installed to the core of Batchelor Hall as part of a renovation. (UCR/Imran Ghori)

The 110,000-square-foot building, which includes a two-story wing and a four-story wing, is mainly laboratory and support space used by science programs.

Most researchers remained in the building over the course of the project. Some of the laboratories have expensive and sensitive equipment that they wanted to avoid having to move, Franklin said.

Amancio De Souza, academic coordinator for the Metabolomics Laboratory, housed at Batchelor, said the lab was able to continue its work during construction.

“By enabling us to stay, we saved a lot of money that having to move multi-million-dollar equipment to other buildings would cost,” he said.

Batchelor is the latest modernization project completed in recent years of older campus buildings, which include Spieth Hall and Pierce Hall.