North District phase 2 construction

North District housing complex walls go up

Buildings take shape in latest construction phase

June 17, 2024
Author: Imran Ghori
June 17, 2024

Three large cranes, more than 10 stories high, tower over UC Riverside’s North District Phase 2 project, lifting wall panels and setting them into place.

Construction crews at the project site have been repeating those steps over the last few weeks as the student housing project moves forward with the next phase of construction.

West of the first North District student housing complex, the new project will consist of two apartment-style buildings with 429 units for a total of 1,568 beds. In a first for the campus, UCR has partnered with the Riverside Community College District to include housing for both university and community college students.

Since November, when construction began, crews have poured 171,819 square feet of concrete, put up steel frames, and completed installation of underground utilities at the 4.5-acre site at the northeast corner of Canyon Crest Drive and W. Linden Street.

The latest step involves installing 6,830 prefabricated wall and floor panels that were assembled and trucked in from a prefab yard in Tecate, Mexico, just across the border, said John Franklin, senior project manager with the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction. 

The load-bearing shear wall panels range from 1,500 to 4,000 pounds while the floor panels weigh about 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, both made of fiber and concrete material built in the U.S. and assembled in Mexico.

At the project site, the cranes are used to set the floor panels on top of an existing pad while the wall panels lock into place with Bluetooth technology that guides crews exactly where to place them, said Jason Cantrell, a project senior superintendent with McCarthy Building Companies, the contractor handling the project.

Crews are installing about 60 panels a day, he said.

“You’re seeing the progression of the job,” said Eric Speik, a project senior manager with McCarthy, overseeing the project with Cantrell. “You get to see all of the elements of the structure.”

UCR and RCCD campus leaders recently toured the project site to see the latest developments and get an update on construction progress.

The project is expected to be completed in July 2025.