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October 12, 1998 Vol. III, No. 4

$7.5 Million Contract Awarded for Student Services Center

Work on Project to Start Immediately, With Completion Due by Summer 1999

Bringing a longtime goal closer to fruition, Cal State Northridge has awarded a $7.5 million contract to transform the former Administration Building into a new Student Services Center designed to be a "one-stop shop" for many student needs.

The project contractor, Morse Diesel International Inc.-the same company already rebuilding the wings of the Oviatt Library-is due to start work almost immediately and have interior construction completed by June 1999. At that point, building users could begin moving in.

Because the former Administration Building has been closed since the 1994 earthquake, many students have never seen the complex in use or even been inside the five-story, 129,000-square-foot complex. But now, that is soon due to change.

"The new Student Services Center is really a symbol of what CSUN is all about-being student centered," said Vice President of Student Affairs Ron Kopita. "All the discussions about the interior design, what offices will be in the building and how departments will work together were conducted with students in mind," he said.

The first phase of work, completed months ago for about $2 million by a different contractor, involved literally gutting the building interior down to its bare structural walls. Seismic reinforcing was added, surface cracks were sealed and restrooms were upgraded for disability compliance.

The new contract basically calls for reconstructing the building's interior, with flooring, ceilings, interior walls and finishes, and new building systems including heating, cooling, mechanical, electrical and telecommunications. The building also will get a new roof and new neutral tone exterior finish.

"The building will be user-friendly, pleasing to the eye, and most importantly, students will be able to conduct most of their out-of-class business in one place," Kopita said. "They will no longer need to run around campus to find needed services."

Other changes to the building will include a complete fire sprinkler system, which it did not have previously, and a metal canopy over the north entrance providing shelter to students. The ground level will have terrazzo flooring, while upper floors will have vinyl tile hallways and carpeting.

The reflecting pond now adjacent to the building is being displaced as part of a separate project to realign Etiwanda Avenue, and a similar pond is planned for elsewhere on campus. But the Student Services project budget also includes funding for a yet-to-be-defined "water feature" near the building.

Maureen Shideh, CSUN's acting director of space planning and management, said the ground floor of the Student Services Center will have an open space feeling with a comfortable lobby and a counter where students can do business with several different campus offices in one location.

Planned first floor users will include admissions and records, financial aid, disability resources, student financial services, and student outreach and recruitment services. Second floor space is slated for the testing office, advising resource center-EOP, student athletics advising and Associated Students accounting.

The third and fourth floors will be shared by developmental math programs and the learning resource center. The fifth floor will house university counseling services, the systems and technology group from administration and finance, and computer training labs for faculty and staff members.

Many of the offices that used to be in the building-including those of the president, the vice presidents and other related units-ultimately will be housed in a future new Administration Building planned at Etiwanda Avenue and Magnolia Walk. That project is due for completion by mid-2000.

Funding for the projects is coming mostly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of the university's earthquake recovery. Through August, CSUN had spent $240 million toward what is expected to become a $379 million recovery.

-John Chandler


October 12, 1998

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