TURLOCK, Calif. — When the students of Stanislaus State University return for spring classes, their campus won't be exactly as they left it.
A new $52-million University Student Center is almost ready to be revealed, bringing in an expanded Warrior Grill and more than 1,200 lounge seats to make it a central hub for everyone on the campus.
“We’re excited to open up the first day of our spring semester and really provide that space for students,” said Jennifer Galeana-Vasquez, board chair of the University Student Center.
The old building went under construction back in 2018, temporarily forcing Galeana-Vasquez and her peers to re-purpose some of the student suites as offices.
Programming and events were run out of the quad and meetings were held in the Mary Stuart Rogers Building. Overall, the building's closure had them getting creative to make sure their events could go on.
Despite having to find some creative solutions for a couple years, Galeana-Vasquez is wrapped up in the excitement to show off the new building at the start of spring semester.
“I think it just kind of goes along with how our population is growing," she said. "We’re making sure our campus is adaptable to [the] growing needs of our students and just making sure that as we grow we become more modern...”
The center is filled with new features ranging from event centers and an expanded grill to an e-gaming center, meditation room, and vendor spaces.
“Definitely bringing in vendors," said Galeana-Vasquez. "We will be bringing in different types of food vendors, including a Starbucks.”
As an added bonus, the campus bookstore will finally be placed in the center of the campus. However, the dazzling new student center isn't the only change on campus. The university library is in the middle of its long-planned renovation.
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With the library out of commission, students have been making use of 30 modular units just north of the library. Each module is filled with the same library services you'd expect, like study areas, help desks, computers, and copies of books.
Stanislaus State and their students just weathered their first finals schedule without their library, and so far, the university has seen the transition go "surprisingly well," according to Ron Rodriguez, Dean of Library Services.
“Usage has been very high. We just concluded extended hours (and) services for study... Student’s were using them till 3 a.m.,” said Rodriguez.
The library's renovation started demolition and abatement in August, and, as far as student impacts, the modules will be around to stay until work is done in the summer of 2021.
The long wait will translate to the "Vasche Library 2.0," according to Rodriguez. There'll be a 24/7 study area, event center, cafe, and more than double the current number of study rooms.
If you ever had trouble finding a spot in the library, you'll be relieved to know that seating will nearly double to more than 1,000 once it reopens.
“Transforming the buildings into more state-of-the-art buildings that have the latest technology... We’re offering more technology and more collaborative spaces,” said Melody Maffei, associate vice president of Planning and Facilities Management.
The new buildings are just the latest in the university's goal to be the first-choice campus.
“Being a premier CSU in the Central Valley is really an aspirational goal that we believe that we’re going to reach,” Rodriguez added.
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