spurs new campus facilities
together mushrooming enrollment, voter-approved bonds, fundraising,
and an accumulation of parking fees and you get …
A growth spurt.
Photo by Frank Whitlatch
NEW DIGS – Making room for construction
of the Academic Information Resource Center meant some campus
trees got new homes this summer. This oak was transported
from its previous location next to the library to the north
side of Sacramento Hall, replacing a tree that died in the
obvious across CSUS these days, as construction crews dig, haul
and hammer the days away.
Long-held dreams and years of planning are coming to fruition. And
with the recent changes to the University’s master plan, exciting
new projects are in the works.
Three major building projects are underway, including a pair near
the recently completed Napa Hall along Highway 50 that will be completed
by early next year. They are a new home for Capital Public Radio,
with a distinctive half-circle design and a future broadcast tower,
and the 80,000 square-foot Modoc Hall, which will have office, lab
and classroom space.
The Academic Information Resource Center just south of the library
will be under construction until late 2004. The 100,000 square-foot,
$17.3 million building will house specialized computer labs, facilities
for distance learning and campus technology staff. It’s funded
through the 1998 statewide education bond.
Slated to begin in late spring is work on a new parking structure
between Hornet Stadium and the University Union, funded through
parking fees. At 3,200 spaces, it will be the largest in the 23-campus
There are also new entryways, wrought iron-style fencing and a lighted,
36-foot “monolith” sign for Hornet Stadium. That project,
along with the new scoreboard at Hornet Stadium, is paid for with
a gift of more than $500,000 from Alex G. Spanos, the benefactor
who gave $1 million for the track and field improvements that helped
lure the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Track and Field Trials to CSUS.
Of course, there’s also the digging.
Faculty and staff who were here for the summer couldn’t miss
all the trenches. Around virtually every corner, crews were updating
or installing underground telecommunications lines.
Matt Altier, CSUS associate vice president of facilities management,
says that trench work should be nearly completed by the start of
fall semester. The remainder will be done during breaks. The telecommunications
work on the interior of buildings will be done over the next 18
But Altier warns that nobody is likely to be spared when the next
digging begins. The $18 million utilities infrastructure upgrade
project, funded through the last education bond, will last almost
two years. It will include work on water and sewage pipes, electrical
systems, and more.
“We’ll be replacing or repairing just about everything
that’s underground,” Altier says. “Unfortunately,
it is going to make a mess for the next couple years, but this is
just something you have to do every 30 or 40 years. We will keep
the campus community informed during the process, and will keep
the project on track and as pleasant and customer-focused as we
Beyond current projects, CSUS has been planning for long-term growth
If the education bond anticipated to be on the March ballot is approved
by voters, funds are expected for a remodel and addition to Eureka
Hall and for a new science building. Depending on funding, a new
650- to 700-bed residence hall could be completed by spring or fall
2006. It would be built where Foley Hall now stands.
In fact, the plans for new student housing is part of a new residence
hall master plan that calls for replacing the old residence halls
one-by-one as funding allows. Under that plan, there would also
be new parking around each hall and a new perimeter road for better
access, as well as a pedestrian bridge leading from the student
housing to the rest of campus.
And the University as a whole has a revised master plan as well
– the first major changes to the plan in 15 years.
In addition to student housing, highlights of the revised master
plan include a student health/recreation/convocation center and
arena attached to Hornet Stadium, a new bookstore near the University
Union, and upgrades to or a replacement for Riverfront Center food
Many other new buildings and additions remain where they were in
previous versions of the master plan, while other hoped-for facilities
are dependent on private donors. Meanwhile, moving the planned locations
of some buildings along with planned improvements to perimeter road
would give the University additional space near Highway 50 and the
“This plan is about looking at the most efficient way of growing,”
Altier explains. “The master plan is very fluid, we can change
locations and add more buildings. What it gives us is a strategic
vision for growth – how we can align the needs of the campus
community with building space and projected building space.”
The master plan is designed for an eventual enrollment of about
32,000 (25,000 full-time equivalent) – which was the enrollment
cap for CSU campuses until this May, when the CSU Board of Trustees
changed the policy. The system now allows campuses to grow beyond
that limit. CSUS planners project enrollment could reach that 32,000
level by 2007.