Campus LID Project under constructionA crew pours the concrete surround for a rain garden in the Main Quad. It’s a part of the extensive Campus LID Project. (Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

Dump trucks, hard hats, and orange safety vests: They are everywhere at Sacramento State these days, with two major construction projects underway and a third set to break ground soon.

Here is a look at the projects, which will improve the University's water conservation, showcase students' innovative work in an international competition, and provide new on-campus housing for hundreds of students.

Campus LID (Low-Impact Development) Project

The huge, concrete-bordered “flower beds” popping up around campus are stormwater-management devices. They’re designed to filter impurities from rainwater runoff before it flows into the American River and to help replenish precious groundwater supplies.

Sac State’s Office of Water Programs (OWP) and Facilities Management teamed up with the City of Sacramento to design and install bioretention planters, rain gardens, bioswales, and roof-runoff disconnects throughout the campus. Once completed, Sac State’s Campus LID (Low-Impact Development) Project will serve as a model of stormwater management practices for California. Eventually, OWP will offer self-guided walking tours of the sites.

The stormwater sustainability project is being paid for with $2.8 million in Proposition 84 clean-water funds from the state’s Water Resources Board, along with $700,000 in in-kind services from the City of Sacramento, Facilities Management, OWP, and others.

Reflect Home for Solar Decathlon 2015

At the former site of El Dorado Hall, Team Solar NEST is frantically building its 997-square-foot, modular Reflect Home for the global Solar Decathlon 2015. The student team and its faculty advisors have just over a month to complete construction, furnish the home, and test its energy-saving systems.

Sacramento State was one of 20 universities from around the world chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy for its Solar Decathlon 2015. The competition challenges collegiate teams to design and build affordable, state-of-the-art sustainable homes that will appeal to first-time homebuyers in their area. Six teams, including Stanford and Yale, have dropped out since the 20 finalists were announced in February 2014.

Sometime around Sept. 25, Sac State’s team will dismantle the Reflect Home and load the five modules, garage, loft section, and patio platforms onto flatbed trucks for transport to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, site of the Solar Decathlon. The competition gets underway Oct. 8. The overall winner will be announced Oct. 17.

Student Housing II

Sac State’s most anticipated construction project is the $54.9 million residence hall called Student Housing II, to be built alongside the American River where Parking Lot 2 is now. It will be the first new building on campus since The WELL, the recreation and wellness center, opened in September 2010.

Construction fencing for the residence hall is scheduled to go up on Thursday, Aug. 27, with the groundbreaking to follow.

The construction will cause the University to lose some student and staff parking spaces. UTAPS (University Transportation and Parking Services) has made every effort to provide parking options for those affected by the lot’s closure:

  • Students who live in the residence halls and have a valid residence hall parking permit may now park on the fourth floor of Parking Structure II.
  • Approximately 250 student/daily parking spaces are available at the new Ramona Lot, on Ramona Avenue near Power Inn Road and Cucamonga Avenue. It’s open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, when a Community Service Officer (CSO) is on duty. Hornet Shuttles will run to the Ramona Lot from campus every 12-15 minutes on weekdays. The first shuttle leaves the Ramona Lot at 7:40 a.m.; the last return shuttle leaves The WELL at 5:50 p.m. Students may purchase a Ramona Lot parking permit (not valid elsewhere on campus) for $84, which is about half the price of a regular student parking permit.
  • Staff may park in a new lot next to Shasta Hall. The number of staff parking spaces isn’t affected by the residence hall construction project.

Student Housing II will be the centerpiece of the newly named North Housing Village, which includes the American River Courtyard and five other residence halls. The four-story, 416-bed Student Housing II will be home to freshmen and sophomores. The first residents will move in just in time for the Fall 2017 semester.

No student fees will be used for the Student Housing II construction project, which is paid for by the rent and housing fees students pay to live in campus residences. The Housing Fund is separate from the General Operating Fund.

“We have been fortunate to be able to start the construction of various projects set forth and recommended by the new Master Plan,” says Ali Izadian, associate vice president for Facilities Management. “In addition, Sacramento State is in the process of planning and design for other priority projects, including Science II and a parking structure, along with infrastructure improvement projects and the potential expansion of the University Union and The WELL.

“We are expecting to have several of these projects under construction during the next three to five years, which will provide Sacramento State with new, state-of-the-art facilities and learning/teaching environments for our students’ success,” Izadian says. – Dixie Reid