State of Chico State, 2030?

Picturing buildings crashing down and new, improved structures rising in their place, Chico State University leaders are slowly planning what the campus might look like 10, 20, even 30 years from now.

Dilapidated Sutter Hall recently fell, and future projects under consideration range from more parking spaces to the demolition of Aymer J. Hamilton and Siskiyou halls.

Chico State must come up with a new facilities master plan—and a higher cap on enrollment—to have any hope of getting the California State University to kick in on building needs.

Part of that will include some creative numbers-juggling by the university, acknowledged Dennis Graham, Chico State’s vice president for business and finance, who presented the plan at the March 14 Academic Senate meeting.

If Chico State officially raises its enrollment cap to 15,800 students from the 14,000 limit that has been in place for more than 35 years, it should qualify for more state money. Graham hastened to add that much of the increase, taking place over 20 to 30 years, would be absorbed as students take courses or do internships off the main campus.

Graham said the demolition of Sutter Hall was symbolic in that it tells Chancellor Charles Reed, “We’re not going to be living in those conditions any more. … We’re going to do it right or not at all.”

For years, faculty members have been cramped into tiny offices and suffering insufficient lab space, while there seems to be more than enough room for lectures, Graham reported.

Meanwhile, the Associated Students government is considering what to do with buildings it controls.

One idea—still very much in the "draft" stage—is to tear down the University Center, where the A.S. has lent the university space for the last 20 years in exchange for use of the Reynolds warehouse on Cherry and Second streets, according the draft Associated Students Space Needs and Facilities Master Plan. It could be replaced with a satellite student union, with the cooperation of the university. The A.S.'s $36,000-a-year lease on the warehouse that hosts Adventure Outings and A.S. Recycling is due to expire next year, and the Bell Memorial Union Committee has recommended that it not be renewed.