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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

March 9, 2005

Architect chosen for unique
rec/wellness center and stadium project

Sacramento State has selected the nationally renowned architectural firm of Ellerbe Becket to design a first-of-its-kind Recreation, Wellness and Events Center and stadium renovation – a project that promises to set a new nationwide standard for campus recreation centers.

The landmark recreation facility is key to President Alexander Gonzalez’ plans to make Sacramento State a flagship campus of the California State University system and a destination campus for the West. It’s intended to significantly enhance the overall student experience on campus and build new ties between the University and the Sacramento community.

Ellerbe Becket is a national firm with offices in San Francisco, and it has extensive experience with professional and university athletic facilities. It has designed facilities for numerous National Basketball Association teams, including recent projects in Charlotte, Memphis and San Antonio. Other large recent projects include Guangdong Olympic Stadium in China, Qwest Field in Seattle and the renovation of Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

The firm teamed with Hornberger + Worstell, a San Francisco firm with experience within the California State University system including a housing project at CSU Monterey, and LPA Sacramento. The team will work closely with the University’s program manager, Tony Moayed of TMCS, to coordinate the quality, accuracy and timeliness of the programming effort. The team was selected from among 11 that submitted concepts and six that were selected to make campus presentations.

Representatives from Ellerbe Becket will be on campus later this week interviewing student groups and staff from the various University units involved with the project. They will be refining concepts and defining exactly what will be included in the facility, and are looking for extensive campus input in addition to the early focus groups conducted before the student vote last spring.

The campus community is also invited to provide input on the project through an online form that will be available later this month.

The RWEC project includes a large fitness center, new Student Health Center, and a multi-use arena for events such as graduation ceremonies, concerts and
intercollegiate basketball. It will be located just north of the University’s stadium, which will be renovated as part of the overall project and possibly connected physically to the new center.

The project will cost an estimated $120 million, up from early estimates of $73 million. The increase is largely because the stadium renovation is now included and because of the rising cost of steel and concrete. It will be paid for with non-state funds.

A new student fee for the project, which students voted for last April, will not change with the expanded scope of the project, and will still be $110 a semester. The full fee will go into effect after President Gonzalez raises a minimum of $25 million, as he promised. In fact, the University will be seeking to raise additional funds beyond what students will contribute to cover the expanded scope of the project.

Already committed to the project is $10 million from real estate developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos and his wife, Faye, as well as about $20,000 from campus employees in the State Employees Trade Council.

The complex project may be constructed in phases to allow Sacramento and the University to possibly host the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials again in 2008. Groundbreaking could be as early as summer 2006, with portions of the facility opening by mid-2008.

In addition to numerous projects for professional sports teams, Ellerbe Becket’s university projects include Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion at UC Berkeley, the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland, the Leavey Center at Santa Clara University, McCarthy Athletic Center at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Rhodes Stadium at Elon University in North Carolina, the Convocation Center at the University of Miami and schematic design for the Recreation Center at Sonoma State University. Internationally, Ellerbe Becket is currently working on the Khalifa Orthopedic Sports Medicine Hospital in Qatar and a large new recreation center for the American University in Cairo.

For media assistance, contact the Sacramento State Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156. At Ellerbe Becket, contact Stuart Smith at (816) 360-4426.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •