CSU, Chico News

Student Services Center Plaza Project Will Beautify Campus’s Western Edge

Date: 06-08-2010

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Construction of the Student Services Center Plaza and adjacent First Street renovation this summer will give a new look to the western end of California State University, Chico’s central campus area.

New trees and other landscaping, outdoor seating and additional amenities will connect the plaza to pedestrian-only First Street as well as the busy Bell Memorial Union and Meriam Library buildings that are in close proximity.

The approximately $1.1 million for design and construction of the plaza and surrounding area is the completion of the $46.8 million Student Services Center project. The building’s exterior and interior were completed in 2008, but the project’s final phase was suspended due to a 2009 freeze on disbursement of state General Obligation and Lease Revenue bonds used to fund CSU capital projects.

Features of the project include:

  • Tables, chairs and umbrellas for seating that complement outdoor seating at the Bell Memorial Union
  • New light fixtures with banners highlighting University achievements
  • Brick entryway at First Street facing Warner Street
  • Fruit tree plantings along First Street that echo the orchard tended by Chico founder John Bidwell
  • Concrete tree planters that feature aromatic sensory gardens

Preliminary work on the project has already begun. Completion is scheduled for Aug. 13.

“The Student Services Center Plaza and First Street project will only add to our already beautiful and inviting campus,” said Vice President for Business and Finance Lori Hoffman. “With the addition of the Student Services Center, the western end of campus has become a main entry into Chico State. Increasing the use and attractiveness of the plaza and First Street area will be a very big part of this new campus gateway.”

Otto Construction, which built the recently completed Wildcat Recreation Center and Gateway Science Museum, will be the design-build contractor. The design of the project was by Williams and Paddon Architects.

A selection committee chose the Otto proposal over other bidders for the plaza project. Members of the committee were Hoffman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sandra Flake, Vice President for Student Affairs Drew Calandrella, Manager of Facilities Construction Lynda Miracle, Interim Manager of Facilities Planning and Design Sharon Millman, and Warren Jacobs, University Architect, and Jay Jefferson, Construction Services, Capital Planning, Design and Construction, CSU Chancellor’s Office.