February 1, 1999 Vol. III, No. 9

Design Approved for New $16.8 Million AMC Building

CSU Trustees' Vote Marks Their Final OK for CSUN Earthquake Recovery Work

Marking another milestone in Cal State Northridge's earthquake recovery, the Cal State system's Board of Trustees has approved the campus' design for a new $16.8 million Arts, Media and Communication Building that is due to start construction later this year.

CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson told the trustees their acceptance of plans for the 65,000-square-foot structure was particularly significant, because it represented the last of their needed approvals for major new CSUN building projects stemming from the 1994 earthquake.

"This building is the last post-earthquake construction project we'll be requesting from the board," Wilson said during the board's Jan. 26-27 meeting in Long Beach. Two major projects already are under way on campus, while the remaining new buildings including AMC are due to start later this year.

The new AMC building-designed by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture-will be L-shaped and sit somewhat closer to the campus quad than its predecessor. The former Fine Arts Building had to be demolished because of earthquake damage.

The AMC building will become the new home for the College of Arts, Media and Communication. "This building, which will glow with glass and light, will provide first-rate teaching spaces such as we have never had before," said AMC Dean Philip Handler.

The building schedule calls for completion of construction drawings this spring, a construction start by July and occupancy by August 2000. The building's $16.8 million estimated cost includes a basic construction projection of $13.9 million plus various fees and contingency amounts.

The L-shaped building will create an exterior quadrangle facing south. Occupants will include the departments of communication studies, journalism and radio-television-film. Much of the college's art department will be housed in the already-approved expansion of the separate Art and Design Center.

The main AMC building will have brick exterior facing on the first level, with glazing on the upper floors to provide natural interior lighting. The building also will have a series of exterior vertical columns to complement those on the Oviatt Library located across the campus quad.

Public spaces will be concentrated on the first floor of the AMC main north wing, which runs east-west, including an art gallery, film screening room, lecture rooms and offices for the Daily Sundial student newspaper. Lab and faculty offices will occupy the upper two floors of the wing.

The south wing, which will run north-south, will house entertainment industry technical spaces including soundstages, blue-screen and Foley stages, and film, video and audio editing labs.

After having passed the fifth anniversary of the Northridge earthquake last month, CSUN is closing in on the conclusion of what is now estimated as a $390 million recovery effort. Completion of all significant work and the removal of most portable facilities is expected during the year 2000.

Among other significant new building work, construction is already well under way on two projects: the rebuilding of the demolished wings of the Oviatt Library and converting the former Administration Building into a new Student Services Center. Both are due to reopen by fall 1999.

The other new building projects that already have design approvals and are due to start construction later this year include AMC, the Art and Design Center expansion, a new Health and Human Development/Technology Center building, and a replacement Administration Building.

As of late November, the federal and state governments, which are funding most of the recovery, had approved nearly $328 million worth of work at CSUN, with about $62 million more still in process. The campus had spent nearly $244 million, or about 62 percent of its expected recovery funds. -John Chandler

-John Chandler


February 1, 1999

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