October 22, 2003 Vol. VIII, No. 5

Architect's conceptual view of new student union building, due for completion in fall 2005. Final design is subject to change.

Construction Begins on New University Student Union

Illuminated Tower to Serve as ‘Beacon' to Campus; Main Street Promenade Planned

The ambitious University Student Union construction project is underway, its objective to bring a new energy and an exciting architectural presence to the southeastern sector of Cal State Northridge.

Construction on the first phase will conclude in November 2004, including demolition of the present administration building, construction of a Main Street thoroughfare, a re-vamped Pub eatery featuring added booths in a sports bar atmosphere and a more spacious Subway sandwich shop.

A three-story illuminated tower, the $15.3 million Union's signature piece, is expected to serve as a "beacon" to the campus community when Phase Two is completed in fall 2005.

"The tower will be seen past Oviatt Library all the way to the other side of campus," said studio designer Glenn Nordlow of Fields Deveraux Architects and Engineers, the firm assigned to the 28,000-square foot second phase.

Along with decorative night lighting and the glow of "borrowed light" from the interior complex's glazed screening, the illuminated tower is meant to heighten the nightlife excitement surrounding the new Union's promenade and other venues.

Within its three stories of usable space, the tower will house a ground floor coffee house with a small stage area for poetry readings, computer network access and a patio area that will open out to provide extra seating for an outdoor performance plaza that will hold up to 1000 people.

Second floor plans include much-needed study rooms, reading lounges, offices and a state-of-the-art computer lab with up to 60 work stations; the present lab has only 12 stations. The Performing Arts Center will have second floor restrooms accessible to its patrons for the first time, and seating overlooking the performance plaza will accommodate up to 40 people.

The third floor, whose large west-facing executive conference room will boast an expansive view of campus, also will provide an additional reading lounge.

"The second phase is the student-focused area of the project," said USU Executive Director Debra Hammond. At its Leadership Library, she noted, students will check out materials related to life skills and leadership development.

The Matador Involvement Center—a rim of first floor office spaces for clubs, organizations, some Student Development and International Program functions and other activities—will form the Student Union's quiet northern and western perimeters.

Plans are to keep the USU operational during both phases of construction, Hammond added.

To fund the new facility, 77 percent of Northridge students who participated in a 2000 referendum voted to increase their student fees by $35 per semester.

For more information, visit the USU Web site at usu.csun.edu.

USU Groundbreaking Ceremony

Vice President of Student Affairs Terry Piper, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students William Watkins, University Student Union Executive Director Debra Hammond, and campus community.
Noon to 2 p.m., Wed., Oct. 22
USU Court of Community

@csun | October 22, 2003 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
Home | CSUN A-Z | New Sites | People Finder | Calendar | News & Events
Students | Faculty/Staff | Parents/Prospective Students | Alumni | Business & Government | The Community