“Today Decides Tomorrow” reads the inscription above the central arch leading into the entrance of the Romanesque-style administration building. In 1964 a spiral staircase was added under the dome of the rotunda. A beautiful stain-glass globe hangs from the dome.
Trinity with Rose Garden
Trinity Hall was completed in 1933; it was one of three buildings designed to replace the Normal School building that burned down in 1927. It is a brick building in Romanesque design with a square bell tower on the south side. The carillon in the tower chimes on the hour and half hour. Since the 1970s Trinity has housed faculty offices and an art gallery. At Chico State, you can literally stop and smell the roses between classes. In spring of 1957, a rose garden was planted behind Trinity Hall. George F. Petersen’s love for gardening was likely inherited from his father, who was John Bidwell's groundskeeper. Stroll through the extensive collection of roses—but don’t pick the flowers; there is a fine for picking roses from the garden.
Since 1969 and throughout its existence, the Free Speech Area, now called Trinity Commons, has reflected the times. During the Vietnam War years, it was an arena for debate. In the early 1970s, the area became a venue for entertainment, with bands playing several times a week. The 1988–89 school year saw renewed student activism as one group staged several cardboard box sleep-in rallies to bring attention to the plight of the homeless. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, almost 2,000 people gathered in the Free Speech Area for a memorial. Trinity Commons is still being used in these ways today.
The beautiful Romanesque structure of Laxson Auditorium seats 1,200 people and hosts more than 100 performances of artists from around the world in music, dance, theatre, and lectures, as well as many other performances produced and performed by Chico State students of the theatre arts department.
Performing Arts Centers/Theatres
The Performing Arts Center is fully equipped with scene and costume shops, a small dance/rehearsal studio, make-up and dressing rooms, a script library, a music library, practice rooms furnished with pianos, recording facilities, an extensive costume collection, and a computer lab. Home of the liberal arts disciplines—humanities, philosophy, English, music and theatre, history, foreign languages, and religious studies. Theatres in the PAC host performances in music, theatre, and dance put on by talented Chico State students.
Bell Memorial Union (BMU)
The Bell Memorial Union (BMU) houses the Associated Students (AS) and Student Activities offices. The AS at Chico State is a unique auxiliary in the California State University system because it operates more than 20 programs and services on campus—with most located in the BMU, including the bookstore, the student information center, a student art gallery, Common Grounds study area, computer labs, Marketplace Café, Bike Cart on-campus bike repair, the Women’s Center, and conference rooms.
Chico State is one of the few campuses anywhere that has a year-round creek running through its grounds. Enjoy the babbling brook every time you cross one of the seven foot bridges that span Big Chico Creek as it flows from the Sierra Nevada foothills, through Bidwell Park and downtown Chico to the campus, eventually making its way to the Sacramento River.
Completed in 1972 , the 62,401-square-foot life sciences building has three stories of faculty offices, classrooms, lecture rooms, and laboratories. A temperature-controlled herbarium ensures that plant specimens can be dried and mounted for further study. The building was dedicated as Vesta Holt Hall in 1974, in honor of the distinguished professor of biology.
O’Connell Technology Center
Completed in 1992, O’Connell houses programs in the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management. This 75,000-square-foot facility includes classrooms, labs, and faculty offices.
Yolo Hall is the home of the Department of Kinesiology, and its surrounding facilities include an all-weather track, putting green, jogging trails, two gyms, soccer and baseball (Nettleton Stadium) fields. Also located just outside Yolo Hall are tennis, basketball, and handball courts, a weight room, swimming/diving pools, dance studio, and climbing wall/ropes course.
The Meriam Library serves students with flexible hours, open most days from 7:30 a.m.–11:45 p.m. Come study on your own or take advantage of the spacious interior with a study group. There are three computer labs in the library, as well as computers scattered throughout the building. You’ll also find a curriculum collection for future teachers, digital collections of historical photographs and maps, government documents, media formats including DVDs and CDs, reference collection, special collections, and of course tons of books.
Student Services Center
Designed as a courtyard building, the Student Services Center houses 26 student service programs in a warm, daylight-filled environment. It is a one-stop spot for all things related to registration, admissions, orientation, Wildcat ID card and parking permits, advising, records and registration, fees and tuition, financial aid and scholarships, and more. Designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification, the 122,000-square-foot, four-story building meets the University’s sustainability goals while reflecting the architectural tradition of the campus.
The Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC) opened in fall 2009 and features three basketball courts, an indoor running track, four group exercise rooms, a pool and hot tub, and a three-story climbing wall and bouldering area. The WREC is also used for ballroom dance, hip hop, paintball, rugby, water polo, fencing, and many more activities for whatever sport interests you! The WREC was built for a LEED Certified silver rating to save on energy costs, and its stunning architecture has won it praise from students, faculty, staff, and the community.
Gateway Science Museum
The Gateway Science Museum, completed in 2009, features exhibits that are hands-on and highly engaging. These exhibits explore the natural world of the North State, our region's unique history, flora, and fauna, and the prospects for future sustainability.
The 800-acre Paul L. Byrne Agricultural Teaching and Research Center, commonly called the University Farm, includes a meats lab, mechanics lab, and the beef, sheep, swine, and organic dairy units. The greenhouse and rose gardens are available for public viewing, and the farm hosts many local school children each year.
While Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park is not technically part of campus, its proximity and history blur the distinction. This beautiful, three-story Victorian brick home in the Italian Villa style, was built by the Bidwells in 1868. John Bidwell, prominent pioneer, farmer, soldier, statesman, politician, and philanthropist, married Annie Ellicott Kennedy, who was from a prominent Washington family and active in many social causes, including the suffrage and prohibition movements. The Bidwells often entertained at the mansion. Their guests included Susan B. Anthony, President Rutherford B. Hayes, General William T. Sherman, Frances Willard, Governor Stanford, and John Muir. The mansion was part of the Chico State campus from 1923 to 1964, serving as a women’s residence hall for many years.