April 20, 2005

Connection to community subject of final Town Hall

Status updates for several campus projects were the topic of the day at Tuesday's Town Hall meeting. The meeting, which focused on "Building Community Support," was the last general town hall meeting of the academic year. President Gonzalez will host a special students-only meeting in May.

Carole Hayashino, vice president for University Advancement, led off by describing April's Alumni Month celebration. "When I meet people in the community they have great pride in this University," she said. "We have alums all over town, not just in our schools and hospitals but in the capital. They are a great asset."

She spoke of the role of Advancement-Alumni Affairs, Public Affairs and Development. "Our mission is not in the classroom or in the library, but to create an environment that supports the academic priorities of the University, of the Colleges. That supports students through scholarship."

Hayashino pointed out that the CSU requires each campus to raise 10 percent of its general fund budget. For Sacramento State that means $14.9 million in private dollars this year.

She also asked for help. "We need friends and allies to support the work of Sacramento State. Brag about Sacramento State to your friends and neighbors," she said. "Give a gift to the University. Join the Alumni Association."

Matt Altier, vice president and executive director of University Enterprises, discussed how his operation intends to help implement the campus' master plan. He spoke of planned new venues as ways to service the University in ways the state can't, such as using research and grants to create more business opportunities for the University.

"We're looking at new ways to connect with the community to get people on campus," he says. And community interest is building. "Since Destination 2010 was announced the community has been coming to us."

The University has been closely involved in the 65th Street redevelopment area, Altier says. Plans call for retail space with loft apartment marketed to faculty and staff along with a 143-unit condo complex. Work is also proceeding for the University to acquire the former California Youth Authority property behind the Folsom Blvd. Home Depot. If the deal goes through over the summer as hoped, the property would be rebuilt with up to 500 units of faculty/staff housing with retail, a pedestrian street and a direct connection under Highway 50 to a new south main entrance to campus.

Gonzalez gave more detail when asked about the potential for a new childcare center for faculty and staff. "We're looking at putting it at the CYA site. We would have to work in business model insurance, accreditation."

He said they hope to acquire land in July and would need at least six to eight months to prepare for construction. "The CYA is 25-acre site. The building will have to be razed and part of construction will need to be new infrastructure." Eventually, the University would follow a process used by CSU Channel Islands and other universities where faculty and staff will be able to purchase the home but not the land.

Another project under consideration is a bus/trolley from the 65th Street light-rail station, through the Hornet Crossing tunnel, and then looping through campus.

On-campus projects include the new bookstore that will be under construction before the start of the fall semester next to the University Union and Parking Structure II. Altier said it will be double the size of the current store. It is scheduled to open in 2007.

Hayashino said, "From an advancement standpoint there are great opportunities in these projects-opportunity to partner with the community, opportunity to bring in private dollars." It's not just to build buildings, she said, but to improve life for students and attract faculty.

When asked for an update on the Placer Campus, Gonzalez said, "We're probably at least 18 months out." In September the University will begin offering an executive MBA in Placer in addition to the undergrad classes being offered out there now. "We're working on establishing an academic as well as physical presence," he says. But, "We don't want to take resources from here to go out to the frontier."

There were also questions about military recruitment on campus, congestion at parking garages and the need for a more "bicycle-friendly" campus.

In closing, Gonzalez said that an architect had been hired for the Recreation, Wellness and Events Center. After a programming phase to see what people want in the facility, the campus community can expect to see renderings and drawings.

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