DEC. 19, 2000

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu




Construction begins on business center

California State University, Bakersfield passed another milestone this week as construction began on the Business Development Center that will house CSUB's School of Business and Public Administration, Extended University and Leadership Development Center.

Pinner Construction Co., Inc., of Anaheim was awarded the contract for the 56,529-square-foot complex with a bid of $10,004,200. Several local subcontractors are Bakersfield contractor S.C. Anderson, Inc., is the construction manager. BFGC Architects Planners, Inc., is the architect. Pinner was given the official notice to proceed on Dec. 6.

Primary funding for the Business Development Center comes from the Proposition 1A, the education bond issue that voters approved in November 1998. CSUB has also been raising money from private sources to augment the state funding.

The complex is expected to be open for classes in January 2002.

The four-building Business Development Center has been the focal point of the university's three-year Cornerstone Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in Bakersfield's history. The $11 million Cornerstone Campaign has been exceeded, said Michael Chertok, CSUB vice president for university advancement. More than $11.6 million in gifts and pledges has been committed toward the campaign's overall goal, he said.

Laura Wolfe, CSUB director of development, said the fundraising goal for the Business Development Center is almost complete, with nearly 90 percent of the $2.65 million goal achieved. She said that under the leadership of Cornerstone Campaign chairman Gregory D. Bynum $2.3 million has been raised in private funds that will be used to enhance the Business Development Center. "I'm confident we will meet our goal soon," Wolfe said.

The two-story building for the School of Business and Public Administration will be the largest of the four buildings forming the Business Development Center, providing much needed classroom space in addition to faculty offices.

Thanks to the private funding, the building will have state-of-the-art information technology for "smart classrooms." Smart classrooms will have computer hookups at each seat, enabling students to sit down and plug their computers into the Internet, providing access to CSUB classes and professors electronically. The smart classrooms will enhance students' ability to engage in dialogue with professors, outside information sources and other students, thus enhancing their education.

A focal point of the Business Development Center is construction of a privately funded Leadership Development Center. The center is envisioned as being used by business groups for training and to augment the learning experiences of their employees.

The Leadership Development Center will contain:

Conference and classroom facilities equipped with the latest computing and communication technologies, capable of national and international video conferencing, and other multimedia presentations.

Two 45-seat executive conference rooms and seminar rooms equipped with the latest telecommunications equipment, "smart rooms."

Rooms with movable walls, allowing individual configuration for seminars or networking, space that is available for impromptu learning opportunities. Such configurations will allow community members and groups to take full advantage of an important community resource.

Small-meeting rooms for students and community groups to work in various groups.

Informal meeting areas and a lounge where students, faculty and business leaders can interact.

"Breakout" rooms for small-group sessions and meetings, and study rooms.

Interview rooms for use during recruitment season.

Other state funds will be used to build the Extended University building and the university administrative building.