CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Historic Colusa Hall Reopens - Ribbon Cutting May 3

Date: 04-29-2011

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Joe Picard,
Continuing Education

Colusa Hall, the oldest building on the California State University, Chico campus core, will soon reopen its doors as a newly remodeled, state-of-the-art conference and event center. The renovation was funded by Regional and Continuing Education without state general fund dollars and enhances the University’s capability to host academic conferences and special events.

To celebrate the revival of this historic building, President Paul Zingg will cut a ceremonial ribbon at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, at the front doors of Colusa Hall. All are welcome to attend this ceremony. The official open house will take place 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, when Colusa Hall will be open for the public to tour the new facility.

Colusa Hall, built in 1921, is the only building that remains of the original Chico State Normal School. The classic brick building was originally designed as an industrial arts building, complete with large window openings to take advantage of natural light and ventilation. In 1997 the campus made the decision to save the historic building and invested in a seismic retrofit of the hall. Since that time the space has been used for a variety of purposes, including food service, administrative offices and classroom space.

The current remodeling efforts focused on designing a state-of-the-art conference facility that integrates the natural and built environment. The project took advantage of sustainable building practices and materials while maintaining the historic nature of building. Colusa Hall has been retrofitted with energy-saving windows that match the original style, window shading, energy-saving occupancy sensors and a daylight harvesting lighting system. Students from the construction management program are participating in a process to attain LEED Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The Chico campus is a very beautiful place,” said Provost Sandra Flake. “Preserving historic buildings while improving their functionality and energy efficiency is important in our sustainability efforts. The Colusa Hall remodeling effort will provide an excellent event space available to all our community and help us demonstrate our leadership in sustainable conference management.”

The conference facility provides event space for up to 240 guests, with six additional meeting rooms to accommodate smaller groups. The conference and event facility includes a full business center and a serving space to support catering activities. Meeting rooms feature media control for high-quality video projection and computer-based presentations. The facility also includes a four-station computer lab, a two-way video conference room and wireless network access throughout the building.

Colusa Hall adjoins the Creekside Plaza and native gardens, creating an indoor-outdoor space that showcases the natural beauty of the campus core and creek-side landscape. Concrete benches for outdoor seating at Colusa Hall and the Creekside Plaza space are being designed and created by Chico State students in the concrete industry management program as capstone and internship projects.

The CSU, Chico Facilities Planning department managed the $3.3 million remodel project, working directly with local contractors, construction services and sustainable material vendors. The Academic Technologies and Communications Services departments designed and installed the media, computer and telecommunications systems in the building. Regional and Continuing Education will manage the ongoing operation of the building as part of its full conference and event management services.