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University of California, Merced, wants to alter campus development plans

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The University of California, Merced, wants to significantly alter its expansion plans by constructing taller and more densely placed classroom buildings and residence halls on less acreage and move some offices off campus. The Los Angeles Times reports that Merced administrators believe the proposal could save at least $500 million that otherwise would be spent extending electricity, water and sewage lines under grazing lands that comprise the bulk of the university's unused property. The seven-year-old campus now occupies 104 of the 840 acres it controls. A more compact campus still will be able to accommodate the school's anticipated growth from its 5,800 students to about 10,000 over the next six to 10 years.

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