Visitors to the Health Sciences Campus have seen a variety of construction projects underway in recent years. Significant progress was made in 2018, with 2019 looking to continue the improvement and evolution of the campus.

The HSC Beautification Project, managed by Capital Construction Development, will move forward with its street and sidewalk enhancements. This beautification strategy is designed to refine and strengthen the 79-acre campus by making it more pedestrian-friendly. This involves adding 350 new oak and magnolia trees, wider sidewalks with brick ribboning, an improved irrigation system and 265 additional street light poles.

In 2018, as part of this beautification, two pedestrian scramble crosswalks opened at San Pablo and Alcazar streets, and at the intersection of San Pablo, Norfolk and Eastlake streets. The project also saw construction on the west side of Biggy Street that was completed in early December, with construction on the east side of Biggy currently in progress. The overall project is expected to wrap in 2021.

Besides beautification efforts, the city of Los Angeles currently is engaged in several construction initiatives, including a sewer upgrade project. The city is improving the sewer system on Biggy, Zonal, Eastlake and Alcazar streets, and work is expected to finish by the end of April.

Additionally, the city’s Bureau of Engineering is overseeing the Soto Street Project. Phase 1 of this effort is underway and involves removing the railroad bridge on Soto Street over Valley Boulevard. Phase 2 will widen the vehicular bridge and construction is expected to finish in late 2020. Phase 3, which has yet to be funded, will widen Soto Street and the Soto driveway. In light of these developments, a temporary sidewalk to better accommodate pedestrian access to the Soto Complex is now open for use.

Independent developers as well are contributing to the enrichment of the campus, in particular with the creation of a second on-campus housing project and the construction of a Hyatt-branded hotel, both managed by Real Estate and Asset Management.

This second on-campus housing project will provide 271 additional beds and exist adjacent to the Malcolm and Barbara Currie Residence Hall. With these additions, the campus will be able to offer a total of 741 beds for students and residents. A soft mobilization of the construction effort already has started.

Also, work on the Hyatt-branded hotel at the corner of San Pablo and Alcazar streets will continue throughout the year. To help with foot traffic in the area, a new sidewalk between Currie Hall and the hotel construction site is now open.

Because of the demands of the new hotel and on-campus housing project, USC Parking and Transportation has also engaged Capital Construction Development to evaluate locations for a new surface parking lot or future parking structure.

— Matthew Vasiliauskas