April 10, 2000 Vol. IV, No. 14

Students to Vote on Upgrade of University Student Union

'Main Street' Concept Would Include Improved Food Service, More Lounges and Computer Space, and New PAC Entry

Cal State Northridge students will have the opportunity next month to approve a $14 million reconstruction and renovation of the University Student Union complex to create a "Main Street" environment aimed at making the area the new hub of campus activity.

The USU's Board of Directors has approved a May 9-11 referendum proposing a $35 per semester student fee increase. The measure would fund the USU's reconstruction into an attractive pedestrian area with eateries, expanded computer labs, more lounge and meeting rooms and increased events programming.

USU Executive Director Debra Hammond said she believes the measure has a good chance of passing. "I think this is important not only for the USU, but for the entire campus," she said. "If these changes are made, they will have a tremendous impact on the recruitment and retention of students."

The proposed fee increase would not take effect until after the completion of the USU project in several years, meaning students would only begin paying after enjoying the benefit of the improvements. The $35 increase would be in addition to the current USU fee of $85 per semester.

As envisioned, the project would be a combination of new construction, renovation and some demolition of existing USU space, aimed at creating an attractive pedestrian thoroughfare connecting Parking Lot C on the east with Lindley Avenue on the west.

Elements of the project would include a new USU entryway along Lindley, attractive outdoor eating areas, improved food service, a new outdoor performance area and stage replacing the current "pit," and a new and more accessible entryway to the Performing Arts Center.

Other project elements envisioned by USU directors include a quadrupling of USU computer lab space to 50 to 60 workstations, possibly open 24-hours-a-day, a "cyber cafe" with Internet access, and increased funding for a high-profile lecture series, concerts, special events and support for the Channel Islands campus.

Artist's renderings depicted below are conceptual designs only.


April 10, 2000

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