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Campus construction building dreams

By Jaclyn Loveless

Construction site for new parking lot to replace Lot E, which will be home
to the new Mathematics and Computer Science building.A new parking lot is one of the first steps for major changes taking place on the CSUB campus. The new lot, between Facilities Management and the Student Health Center, replaces Parking Lot E, which will be home to the new Math and Computer Science Building set to break ground during spring quarter. Lot E accommodates 400 cars.

The intramural field, which was where the new parking lot is, has been moved to the grassy area directly east of the old gym, part of the former site of the Bakersfield Business Conference.

Pat Jacobs, CSUB Facilities Management director, said the new lot holds about 600 cars. It may be farther out, but he said estimated walking time is five minutes. "It's what happens as a campus gets bigger," he said. "In the master plan we have tried to separate the foot traffic from vehicular traffic. This type of structure is seen at other universities throughout the state and system." Jacobs explained the campus will have parking on the perimeter and all the walking space and bicycle space in the middle.

And students shouldn't worry about safety; each parking lot will be well lit with pathways into campus.

Plans for an additional 200-space parking lot set for the north end of campus by the Doré Theater have been put off. Jacobs said due to the raising cost of asphalt and to maintain the budget the decision was made to expand the size of the parking lot currently under construction.

Once construction for the new Math and Computer Science Building begins the entire site will be fenced in so students and visitors will have to walk around the old parking lot. Jacobs assures that his office will monitor construction activity to minimize noise during class time activities.

Studios Architecture of San Francisco and S.C. Anderson Inc. of Bakersfield are jointly working on the 54,000 square-foot structure. The company also designed the computer center on the lower east end of the Walter Stiern Library. Administrators said the new building will have about 70 offices, 15 labs, classrooms, and a student lounge.

The building and landscaping will cost about $17 million and is funded by Proposition 55, part of a statewide bond passed in March 2004. CSUB received about $20 million for repairs and new construction.

The building should be completed during the fall 2008 quarter but won't be operational until winter 2009.

The excess space in the old Science Building will be used possibly for the biology department, the nursing program or extra office space.

Plans for new student housing are moving along. Jacobs said they are in the process of developing a feasibility study and a finance model. The new development will be placed where the American Youth Soccer Organization soccer fields currently are. Ideally the dorms will be ready winter 2008.

And Jacobs said the architectural group Sink Combs Dethlefs has been hired to design the student recreational center. The company, with offices in Denver, Colorado and Fresno, has been meeting with CSUB officials and are working on a design. S.C. Anderson Inc. has been hired to handle construction management.

CSUB students approved a referendum that will help fund the $24 million project last May. The new state-of-the-art recreation center will be built just north of the old gym. It will cover the existing Public Safety building and the outdoor basketball courts, with the entrance in direct line of sight to the Student Union. The 60,000-square-foot center will include a suspended track, fitness area with equipment, and possibly a rock-climbing wall.

The facility will be available only to students, faculty, staff and alumni of CSUB. Faculty, staff and alumni wishing to use the facility will pay a membership fee, but there will be no additional fees for students to use it. The center will employ students, and a student advisory board will oversee operations. The project should be completed by fall 2008.