(TNS) -- UC Santa Cruz will establish an outpost in the South Bay by creating an big academic complex in Santa Clara in a quest to more closely connect the university to the tech hubs of Silicon Valley.
"We are planting the flag here," said Guy Lasnier, a spokesman for UC Santa Cruz. "We like to call ourselves the UC of Silicon Valley." UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus is the name of the new complex.
The university will relocate its Silicon Valley professional masters program, Silicon Valley-facing research and Silicon Valley Extension to a long-term home in Santa Clara just off U.S. 101.
"This building represents a significant step in growing UC Santa Cruz's presence in this global hub of innovation," said George Blumenthal, the university's chancellor.
UC Santa Cruz has collected the university's existing operations in the vicinity into a single 90,000-square-foot office building at 3175 Bowers Ave. in Santa Clara.
The University of California paid $46.5 million for the building. Classes are already underway at the site, Lasnier said.
The technology boom in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the Bay Area prodded UC Santa Cruz to seek new facilities for the three key academic facilities in the area.
"We would have been forced into a pretty hot commercial real estate market, because we had to get out of the offices we were in on Augustine Drive" in Santa Clara, Lasnier said.
By making the deal a purchase, which officially recorded on May 4, UC Santa Cruz bolsters the long-term viability of the academic complex. The building originally was constructed in 1978, but realty developer Irvine modernized the building with a major facelift about two years ago.
"UC Santa Cruz will have a strong presence in Silicon Valley for years to come," said Allison Galloway, campus provost.
The university hopes that the new campus will create greater interaction among UC Santa Cruz students, school faculty and Silicon Valley innovators and entrepreneurs; establish professional master's programs aimed at meeting the needs of the region; create research programs aimed at Silicon Valley; launch research and educational partnerships with other universities; host events that share campus expertise with technology professionals.
"It will be a home for our existing ventures and give us room to offer courses and degrees that will that will help Silicon Valley address some of its biggest challenges," Blumenthal said.
The university anticipates it will be able to expand at the new campus.
"We have room to grow in the new building," Lasnier said. "We will have room for new technical master's programs the campus wants to create."
©2016 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.