By Daisy Figueroa |Staff Writer|
The newly approved Center for Global Innovation (CGI) will create a greater sense of community at CSUSB through new services, resource, and spaces for students to feel comfortable.
The guiding principle of how the building was designed was based on student-centered focus groups.
After evaluating the needs of the students and the campus, a lack of a communal space for students from various departments was discovered.
With this taken into consideration, as well as the College of Extended Learning’s own need for more space, the Center for Global Innovation was added to the master plan for physical expansion of the CSUSB campus.
“Master plan designers identified that we need to build up the core, where students can congregate and hang out,” explained Dr. Tatiana Karmanova, Dean of the College of Extended Learning.
Karmanova wants the building to not only provide space but also unify the students.
“Coming to the University is where you find friends and interact with people. We don’t want students to just come to class and leave,” Karmanova continued.
They decided that the new building should be at the center of campus, between the College of Education building and the Physical Sciences building, where it will be easily accessible for students from different departments and colleges.
“There’s really no place designed for us to get together and just talk, other than the SU [Santos Manuel Student Union] but that’s on the other side of campus,” admits student Sandra De Santiago.
Inspiration for the design of the building included a welcoming sense of belonging, transparency, unity, service and global experience.
These ideas have been implemented in the final design of the building: large window panels at the exterior of the building, the third floor being extended out to provide much-needed shade for an outside courtyard and study lounges throughout the building are all included in the design.
“The shade is something we need. I think it will get people to actually hang out outside and enjoy the campus,” says student Alondra Martinez.
As a benefit for the students, the courtyard will be shielded from the wind and food vendors will be placed around the surrounding area.
The ‘Global Cafe’ will be placed inside the building as well, easily accessible for hungry college students.
Coyote pride is something that the designers did not forget, prominently displaying bright blue pillars and staircases in the design.
“Many think of our campus as a commuter campus, but I think we’ve grown beyond that. Students need a place to be together, and that [CGI building] will hopefully provide that,” said Karmanova.
In addition to the new CGI Building, the different expansion projects across campus, including the Santos Manuel Student Union Expansion and the new dining hall and residence hall, contribute towards a new CSUSB that focuses on providing services and resources put in place in order for students to thrive.