Seventeen years in the making led up to last Wednesday’s big reveal. With over 300 students in attendance for the big opening, the line stretched past the Student Center and into the redwood grove next to the parking lot.
Due to the fact that the first 100 students in line received cards with between $10 to $50 in WolfBucks on them meant that cutting in line began to become a prevalent problem.
“I got here at 10:30 a.m. because I have class at 12:30 so I thought I would be in and out quickly,” said Corie Emery, the very first person in line for WolfBucks. “I’m excited for the new student center though. I think it will really centralize the campus and bring us closer together.”
“If you’re cutting in line step out now. You are stealing money and we will call the police,” said a student working security at the event. To prevent the cutting, a student counted out the first 100 people and tried to recognize their faces to ensure he would recognize any others trying to cut.
Set up outside the $62 million building was photo booth along side caricature drawers and the KSUN radio booth. To open the new facet of the university, President Ruben Armiñana initiated the festivities with a speech of congratulations to the alumni, faculty and architects who helped to bring the project to fruition. Then, with the help of a pair of giant scissors, Armiñana officially opened the building to the student body.
After a ceremonial ribbon cutting, the doors were officially opened to a flood of excited students.
As students and faculty poured through the doors they were handed reusable shopping bags and a card called a passport that looked like a bingo sheet on which each section could be checked off at different stops throughout the building. Food samples and free glass cups were also handed out during the celebration.
“The opening has been surprisingly smooth. Students seem to really be enjoying the event and able to explore the space,” said Casey Kelly, Sonoma State Entrepreneurial Marketing Coordinator. “We expected a good turn out but this was definitely more than expected. It’s hard to know how many would come but this is an amazing turn out.”
“I think the living room is going to be awesome to just study and hang out. I like that its just chill and people can play pool and hang out on the patio,” student Lisa Schoennauer said. “I think it will be better because its more centrally located, it’s all in one place.”
One large question was brought up, however, and that is what will happen with the parking lot right next to the new Student Center, and why it didn’t open at the same time.
“As of right now the parking is not open because we need to install gates to the lot. The idea is that the parking will be short term parking for events and running onto campus, not residential parking,” said Neil Markley, Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance.
With the new building buzz sweeping the campus and everyone from freshmen to super seniors going to check out the new heart of the campus, only time will tell if it live up to everyone’s expectations and be worth the multimillion dollar investment.