Let the festivities begin. Wednesday marks the start of a new era at Sonoma State University; the Student Center is finally opening at noon tomorrow. Among the festivities, there will be prizes for students to win, food samplings from Lobo’s and the Kitchens as well as tours of the entire building.
This semester also marks the implementation of the $150 student fee approved in 2011, which will remain in place for the next 30 years to pay off 25 percent of the bond, according to Director of Entrepreneurial Activities Neil Markley.
When entering the building, students will first come to the Information and Student Services desk. The Information Desk will not only provide students and visitors with campus information, but will also serve as the campus box office for ticket sales.
“The Information Desk and Tickets will provide information for the building and for the campus as well as our university box office. Students can come here to get tickets for ASP, athletics or the Green Music Center,” said Director for Student Center and Event Operations Jessica Way.
Directly in front of the Information Desk is the Living Room. This will serve as the central point of community from within the Student Center.
The Living Room will provide students with a place to gather in between classes, study before an exam or simply hang out with friends. The room (and building) is also lined with electrical outlets and Wi-Fi; this will provide students with the resources to be technologically connected at all times. There is also a fireplace in the Living Room, which lines the entire back wall of the room.
“[The Living Room] is a place for students to go in between classes and hang out, eat, talk and study. Students will have access to charge electronics and wireless access all throughout the building as well,” said Way.
Upstairs on the second floor, the Student Center primarily accommodates Sonoma State students and campus life. This floor will house the offices of Associated Students including Associated Students Inc., Associated Students Productions and JUMP. On this floor there will also be many boardrooms that campus organizations and departments can rent out for meetings, as well as the copy center and mail room.
Students will also be able to rent out P.O. boxes on the second floor of the Student Center. This feature will prevent off- campus students from having to frequently change their address when moving.
The third and final floor of the Student Center is home to the Grand Ballroom and Overlook restaurant, which is replacing the University Club.
The Grand Ballroom has a capacity of over 1,300 people and events that take place in the Ballroom can also be catered by Overlook, which is located on the same floor. What makes this facility so unique is the ability to split the ballroom into smaller, more private meeting rooms that organizations and faculty can rent out.
Also on the third floor is Student Center Services, which will house many of Sonoma State’s administrative offices. Those offices include Dining Services, Housing Services, Residential Life, Marketing and Conference and Events Services.
The new dining venues continue to prepare for opening, such as the Café. This will be the Student Center’s one-stop coffee shop. The Café is a smaller than Charlie Brown’s but bigger than Toast, and it will primarily serve coffee, tea, espresso and pastries.
Once past the Café, students will come to Weyden & Brewster. This venue is replacing the Commons and will offer many grab-and-go meals as well as pizza by the slice. Weyden & Brewster caters to students with a large amount of seating options and tables within the venue. This allows for students to study, gather or just
hangout even when the venue is not open.
Directly next to Weyden & Brewster is Lobo’s, which is replacing the Pub and Amici’s. Lobo’s is a dining venue whose amenities include outdoor seating, pool tables, televisions and a stage area. This revamped Pub and pizzeria will not only serve as a dining option for students, but also as a place to socialize from within the campus community.
The final section on the first floor of the Student Center is the Kitchens. This will be the primary dining venue for the residential community and first time freshmen. The Kitchens offers students choices with a variety of platforms that all offer dishes from cheeseburgers to Mongolian barbecue.
The variety and freshness of dishes and the live cooking demonstrations is what will rebrand the traditional cafeteria style dining that past freshmen have experienced at Sonoma State.
The Kitchens is comprised of Slice, Chefs, Passport, Sizzle, Flames, Garden, and Etcetera.
Slice will serve primarily pizza and pasta dishes. Chefs will offer live cooking demonstrations that students can view from the dining room. Passport will serve food dishes from all over the world and a different country will be featured every day.
Sizzle and Flames will serve all grilled items and Mongolian barbeque stir-fry that is prepared on the spot for students. For vegetarian students, Garden will be the primary destination with a salad bar that offers lots of variety. Etcetera will serve primarily desserts hand-made candy, and espresso.
Many prizes will be given away to students who attend the Grand Opening. Some of those prizes include a television, a PlayStation 4 and a Southwest Airlines gift card. At the Grand Opening, both university President Ruben Armiñana and Associated Students President Mac Hart will be making speeches.