Campus buildings to be repurposed

The new Student Center is approaching completion and creating a buzz around campus about what will be done with the newly vacant buildings. Many of the service buildings offered on campus such as the bookstore, Zinfandel Dining Room, Zinfandel Market and the Commons will all be transferred into the new Student Center upon its completion. The new Student Center has even brought up rumors about other buildings moving into this new space.

The Zinfandel Market is going to be re-purposed into a gaming room. 

“From our understanding and from our assistance we have we’ve taken out all the store shelving, and have had some finishing repairs,” said Christopher Dinno, the vice president for administration and finance.

The Zinfandel Dining Room will also be moved into the new Student Center building, but as far as re-purposing goes, “they are still exploring those ideas...” said Dinno. 

Many have rumored that the Children’s School would move into the Zinfandel Dining room after the Student Center’s completion; these rumors have  been put to rest after speaking with Lia Thompson, director of the Children’s School.

“…that particular space, Zinfandel, is not appropriate for the needs for our school,” said Thompson.

If one takes a tour of the Children’s School, you will find it equipped with indoor and outdoor facilities and several different learning environments. This leaves opportunity for interdisciplinary childhood development research. The Zinfandel Dining Room has a large indoor space, which may lead many to assume that this area is conducive to the Children School’s needs.

“It [the Zinfandel Dining Room] is not large enough. It does not have the ability to create the indoor and outdoor environments that are essential to our high quality early education program,” said Thompson.

Many students on campus from a variety of majors have used the Children’s School not only as a day care center, but also as a place of research on early childhood development. This program has been extremely important to students on campus; especially students looking to declare a major in the field. 

“The early childhood studies major started fall 2012 and in one year it has 150 declared majors…it is the fastest growing major on campus,” said Thompson.

In the future they hope to construct or move to a new building that will offer more research opportunities and multiple environments. In this future space they hope to expand their age range from 0-8 to offer more child care and learning opportunities for students. 

 “We have established a trust fund to accept donations towards development of a new early childhood center and it is also a center for interdisciplinary research,” said Thompson. 

Unlike the Children’s School, the book store will soon see some changes on campus.

When the book store is transferred to the Student Center “…the existing building will be removed...if you reference the current master plan there is there is a future building purposed to go there; that is the Professional School’s building, which would house the school of business and economics, nursing, and education,” said Dinno.

According to Dinno, the building will include offices for faculty members from the department listed above. Also, these new classrooms will be conducive to the needs of each department. The new Professional Schools building will not be constructed immediately after the current bookstore is demolished. 

“It has to be funded by a state bond of course, and that takes voter approval. We are on a list to receive funding at some point; there is a priority list through the chancellor’s office, but it is not something that is going to happen overnight,” said Dinno. 

Although the school recognizes the benefits and needs for these new classrooms and this space, they must first be approved by the state to receive funds to build such a facility. 

“There may be a need on campus…but there has to be a general obligation bond approved, and once approved it doesn’t guarantee that the campus will be a priority [within the CSU system] to receive the funds. Other campuses also have their own needs and the priority list is looked at from the chancellor’s office standpoint,” said Dinno

The chancellor must consider more immediate needs on other campuses such as fire and life safety before they can grant funding for other less immediate needs. 

SSU has been doing their best to offer more class spaces and efficiency on campus. 

“The chancellor’s office and the state of California are looking at building buildings differently, they are looking for [CSU] campuses to be more efficient in utilization of their spaces and looking for more donor support,” said Dinno.

As many students remember, there were many scheduling conflicts last during registration. SSU has taken this into account and hopes to open up more classroom spaces on campus to reduce registration struggles.

“The Commons will be recommissioned as a dining center, which will move over to the new Student Center, but you can already see we are repurposing part of that building with a classroom,” said Dinno.

The Student Union will be scheduled to hold classes in fall 2014 and “…will be re-purposed with 4 new classrooms, this is a vision that the president and provost have, so we are stepping up and utilizing our facilities in the way that the state of California is asking,” said Dinno. 

New classes for the Student Union will be open in 2014. While most of the buildings are still in the construction process, it is comforting to know that more entertainment opportunities and classroom spaces will be coming to campus soon.