Turner takes on 2 university jobs worth a combined $484M

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Award: UC Merced Medical Education Building and UK Agriculture Research Building
Value: $484 million total
Location: Merced, California and Lexington, Kentucky
Clients: University of California, University of Kentucky

While spring usually marks the end of the academic year, Turner Construction is headed back to school.

The New York City-based contractor, the largest in the country by revenue, recently announced two university building projects worth a combined $484 million. They are:

UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, picked the firm as its construction manager at risk for its new Medical Education Building, a state-funded project budgeted at $300 million

The four-story, 203,000-square-foot building was designed by Portland, Oregon-based architecture firm ZGF, per a Turner news release. It was designed to run only on clean energy without using natural gas to support UC Merced’s carbon neutrality status. 

The building will provide instructional facilities, classrooms, laboratories, clinical practicum spaces and a café, according to Turner. The project will also entail hardscaping, landscaping, building a parking lot and the potential for a stormwater detention basin and upgraded utilities.   

“Featuring cutting-edge laboratories and clinical practicum spaces, this building will provide students with invaluable hands-on experience mirroring real-world scenarios,” Kelly Graef, Turner project executive, said in the release. 

The firm has performed work on the campus in the past. In 2018, Turner finished UC Merced’s Downtown Center, which includes open offices, conference rooms, support facilities and mixed-use spaces. 

Construction is anticipated to begin this spring, with completion slated for fall 2026. 

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky in Lexington selected Turner to build its $184 million Agriculture Research Building. The facility will contain laboratory teaching space, office space and a 250-seat auditorium.

Turner and UK go way back — the firm has worked on more than 20 projects for the school. Jobs include the ongoing build of the $225 million Health Education Building, slated for completion in 2026, and the Albert B. Chandler Hospital, originally built in 2011.   

The 190,000-square-foot Agriculture Research Building is expected to be completed in 2027. 

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