Are they done yet?
You’ve seen the construction for nearly two years, and it’s almost time to move in
When students return to the Chico State campus next fall, they’ll have some adjusting to do. Rather than walking or biking around the Student Services Center, which has been under construction since fall 2006, they’ll be walking inside to take care of all their student needs.
Construction of the center, which is four stories high and 120,000 square feet, is now complete. From the outside, anyway. In the next couple months, its halls will come alive as offices such as Admissions, Career Planning and Placement, Upward Bound and Financial Aid make a big move into their new home.
“Those are offices that are in different places,” said Joe Wills, director of Public Affairs and Publications. “To have them all in one place is going to be a big change, and we hope a big increase in convenience.”
There are 25 services that are currently strewn about campus that will occupy the center. Many of the offices they now occupy will be turned over to a different use, such as library space, meeting rooms and classrooms.
“We’re looking forward to being in the building—it’s absolutely gorgeous,” said Wendy Needels, assistant director of the Admissions Office. “Admissions is sort of the front door to the university, so it will be great to be in a new building. It’s a good place for students to start their experience at Chico State.”
The move-in date for Needels’ 20-person office, which has occupied Colusa Hall for approximately eight years, is tentatively set for June 24.
“We’ll be on the first floor, right as you walk in the main doors,” she said of the new center. “Plus, it’s going to be really cool to be in a green building.”
The Student Services Center has been designed and built to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification. According to the chart on the university’s Web site, which breaks down the construction into categories with points assigned for each standard met, the building currently should qualify for silver certification.
“The goal is to achieve gold on that building,” said Joel Trenalone, construction projects manager in the Facilities Planning Department. “It’s a work in progress until we get to the end of the project.”
The Green Building Council needs to verify certification, and Trenalone said the hope is that by the time every last detail is tended to, some of the standards that fall in the “maybe” category will be met. (The number of standards needed for gold certification is 39; the SSC currently has 38.) The highest standard to meet is platinum, which requires 52.
The cost of building the Student Services Center has been substantial. The total price tag, which includes designs, architects, archaeologists and the actual construction, is about $46 million. The construction alone has cost $37 million.
The good news for students, however, is that unlike for the Wildcat Activity Center, the SSC will not have an impact on their student fees. The entire thing was paid for through a state bond measure earmarked for capital projects.
The activity center, which is expected to cost a total of $59 million, will be paid for by student fees. The two-story, 109,000-square-foot building, which will include a pool, three-court gym, fitness facility and climbing wall, should be finished sometime during the next school year.
In addition to that project, crews should be setting the foundation for a new residence hall, Sutter Hall, this summer. The building cost will be paid for with housing funds. Plus, ground has been broken on the Northern California Natural History Museum by Bidwell Mansion. That project has attracted both state and private dollars.
“After that, the next big project is what we’ve been calling Taylor 2, a new Taylor Hall,” Wills said. “It is on the list of current state buildings to be funded, but right now we don’t have a firm date because of the state budget situation.”
Either way, students, faculty and staff can rest assured that the face of Chico State’s campus will continue to change in the coming years, with the Student Services Center only marking the beginning.