By Emily Anne Espinosa |Staff Writer|
CSUSB formally breaks ground to commemorate the construction of a new dining commons and student housing.
For Dr. John Yaun, Executive Director of the Department of Housing and Residential Education, the groundbreaking ceremony symbolized, “One of the largest building projects in history of this university.”
The housing project will cost $95.8 million and expected to be finished before the start of the 2018-2019 academic school year, according to CSUSB News.
The new residence hall will be a two winged, 4-story, 416-bed complex, according to Facilities Planning & Management.
The design will provide for double occupancy rooms, shared bathroom facilities and gender neutral bathrooms on each floor.
“We’re going to provide a new modern facility for students where they can live there, they can study there, take classes there as well as we have this brand new dining hall that will have several different food venues that the entire campus will be able to enjoy,” said Yaun.
The housing project is also being designed as a residence hall for first year students with the intention of promoting academic performance through the Honors program, Faculty-in-Residence, Academic Mentors, multi-purpose meeting rooms and study spaces.
“I think it’s great that the school is doing its best to create more housing options for our freshmen,” said Marco Polo Cortez, a Student Orientation Coordinator for Student Orientation Advising and Registration.
Some students are concerned that CSUSB is not ready for new housing.
“Personally, I don’t like the new housing,” said student Justin Escopete.
“Classes are already impacted and the university wants to give more students priority registration before the rest of campus?” added Escopete.
The dining project will include a new all-you-care-to-eat dining hall that will feature a grill, sandwiches and salads, international cuisines and display cooking, according to CSUSB News.
Toyin Akinremi, a fifth year student and residential assistant on campus, stated that, “I think that the all-you-can-eat is helping the residents have more opportunities to not run out of money, but still eat.”
“However, I do hear some residents complain about the cost of the meal plan and their difficulties paying for it. Some say the food being served isn’t worth the cost,” added Akinremi.
The second dining service will be Slated, the school’s first planned late night dining location, according to CSUSB News.
“I think it will give students a better, healthier food option besides going off to some of the fast food places, plus that means students don’t have to travel off campus because there’s a place to go at night here on campus,” said Yaun.
“I think this provides some safety, but also provides some convenience as well,” Yaun added.
The entire project is designed with the intention of being environmental and energy efficient, according to Facilities Planning and Management.
“I will have graduated before the completion of the new halls, but I’m glad the school is expanding,” stated Cortez.
“We really are one of the best Cal States in the system and I think with all the upcoming renovations and construction the school will see in the next few years other people will begin to realize that as well. It’s an exciting time for CSUSB,” added Cortez.