Though construction of The Village is well underway, it’s not the only project that will provide more housing to USC students. Thanks to a donation from trustee Malcolm Currie and his wife, Barbara, this month, the new residence hall at the Health Sciences Campus will be named after the family. The hall is set to open by August 2016.
Currie’s $10 million gift will support both on-campus student housing at the Health Science Campus and the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. The gift will be allocated such that $9 million will go toward housing construction at HSC and $1 million will go towards the Michelson Center. In recognition of the gift, both the residence hall and the Michelson Center lobby will be named in honor of the Currie family.
Laurie Stone, associate senior vice president of Real Estate and Asset Management at USC, said there will be 167 apartment-style units with 450 bed spaces for students in the new housing building. Units will range from one bedroom to four bedrooms, and each bedroom will have its own bathroom. The residence building will be open to any student enrolled in a program at HSC. Amenities will also include a ground floor day care center for the campus.
The project is overseen by American Campus Communities, the owner and manager of the student housing component. Since the project is being built by American Campus Communities, its management will not be controlled or operated by USC Auxiliary services.
Stone said the origins of the project go back to 2010 when a master plan was created for the building.
“Student housing was identified by campus stakeholders as a need,” Stone said. “The medical students, pharmacy students — they work very long hours so this provides convenience and housing in a safe campus setting.”
The remaining $1 million will support construction of the Michelson Center. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the center will add 190,000 square feet of space to host new laboratories and offices for researchers in various engineering and science disciplines. When it’s finished, it will be the largest building on the University Park Campus.
Scott Fraser, provost professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering, will be one of many professors moving his or her lab into the Michelson Center. His work includes microscopic imaging that is capable of visualizing the beating heart of an embryonic organism as it matures.
“[The Michelson Center will] create a nexus on campus for next-generation work that spans disciplines and scales,” Fraser said. “This generous gift will go toward shaping the building so that it serves the needs of it users.”
Bethany Jarvis, a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering, thinks the gift’s two beneficiaries — a new residence hall and the Michelson Center — will serve to complement each other.
“I think this is a great opportunity for the scientific community at USC,” Jarvis said. “A new residence hall at HSC will attract more students to USC while the Michelson Center will recruit renowned faculty members and researchers.”