Aggie Square hits milestone with topping off ceremony

Local workers, suppliers key to transformational project


The University of California, Davis, the city of Sacramento, and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC, on Thursday celebrated the full structural completion of the first phase of Aggie Square, an emerging innovation district on the UC Davis Sacramento campus.

The topping off ceremony – a long-standing building tradition – comprised nearly 200 guests, including local tradespeople; community leaders; architecture, engineering, and construction firms; university partners; and elected officials. Guests were invited to sign graphic renderings of Aggie Square that will hang within the completed buildings and symbolize the community’s significant contribution to Sacramento’s groundbreaking innovation district. 

“Aggie Square will build on the Sacramento region’s intellect and ingenuity and help build a brighter tomorrow, with job opportunities and substantial benefits to our economy for generations to come,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “Building a project of this magnitude is good for the economy, the business community, students, faculty, and residents who will be empowered to bring diverse backgrounds and points of view to spur innovation.”

Gary S. May
Building a project of this magnitude is good for the economy, the business community, students, faculty, and residents who will be empowered to bring diverse backgrounds and points of view to spur innovation”Gary S. May

Construction phase

Construction of the first phase comprises 728,000 square feet and includes a life science, engineering, and technology research and academic building; a building focused on lifelong learning and public scholarship, which also includes spaces for startup companies and community programming; a six-story parking garage and a student housing building to support UC Davis’ growing Sacramento campus and programs like “Quarter at Aggie Square.” Construction on the first phase began in the spring of 2022 and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025.

A 7-story building under construction shows concrete pillars and floors, and orange netting, and people walking on the street
Construction on the first phase of Aggie Square buildings began in spring 2022 and is expected to be completed in early 2025

“We are incredibly proud of the tremendous efforts of our project partners, including hundreds of workers from the surrounding community and the numerous local firms that have enabled Aggie Square to reach this important milestone,” said Thomas Osha, executive vice president, Wexford Science & Technology. “The result of their hard work is clearly visible on the Sacramento skyline.”

In April 2021, UC Davis, Wexford and the city of Sacramento agreed on a Community Benefits Partnership Agreement based on three years of input from local residents. The agreement provides a framework for access to and training for both the short-term construction jobs, and long-term permanent jobs created by Aggie Square, as well as directs $50 million toward affordable housing in the surrounding neighborhoods. The construction of Aggie Square will generate an estimated one-time economic impact of $2.6 billion within the six-county region.

Early support from community

“I am thrilled we are so close to opening Aggie Square. This is a transformational project for Sacramento, for our local economy and for our community. It creates affordable housing, transportation improvements and good high-paying jobs for our residents,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Additionally, several elected and community leaders attended and participated in the event to offer their support: U.S. Representative Doris Matsui, Sacramento Vice Mayor Eric Guerra, Councilmember Caity Maple, and Jay Schenirer.

The event concluded with a behind-the-scenes tour, where guests had an opportunity to explore the exterior space and peek into what will soon be first-floor classrooms and community-designated spaces.

The structural frame includes more than 13,000 yards of concrete for the foundation and the first two floors and 2.7 million pounds of rebar.  Pouring involved 60 concrete trucks per hour and 120 workers per pour. Multiple Sacramento-based companies, including Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems, Airco Mechanical, and Southland Industries are providing key elements of the project, including providing the shining glass facade (Bagatelos) for both buildings.