Students return to campus; $86.5 million improvement projects

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  • Fall2016-first-day

Students return to campus; $86.5 million improvement projects

Back-to-School name reminder:  the University’s official names are Fresno State and California State University, Fresno. We generally use the long name for official documents and encourage the use of the shorter name for media and general materials. We ask that any other variations or the CSUF acronym (belongs to CSU Fullerton) NOT be used. Thank you.

The University’s social media accounts are www.Facebook.com/FresnoState and @Fresno_State (Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat). 

The first day of instruction for record 24,500 students projected for the fall semester began today at Fresno State. Students will notice more than $86.5 million in campus improvement projects underway.

Traffic and parking are often congested the first few days of instruction, so students and employees were reminded to arrive early.

Over the weekend, about 950 students moved into nine residence halls on campus and last week University President Joseph I. Castro delivered his annual state of the campus talk to employees.

#FresWOW Weeks of Welcome events are underway and on Friday the University formally welcomed its newest 5,500 students — 3,350 first-time freshmen and 2,150 transfers — at the New Student Convocation at the Save Mart Center and Student Recreation Center. Last year’s official enrollment was 24,136.

Ongoing campus construction and infrastructure improvements continue at Fresno State with key additions this semester, such as the new 30,000-square-foot interdisciplinary Jordan Agricultural Research Center that will hold its first classes.

Located on the campus farm at the corner of Barstow and Woodrow avenues, the three-story facility is the first of its kind in the California State University system and features research laboratories, flexible space and meeting rooms for Fresno State students and faculty to conduct advanced studies on agriculture, food and water.

Made possible by a $29.5 million gift to the Ag One Foundation from Hanabul “Bud” and Dee Jordan family in 2009, the research center is designed to foster collaboration between students and faculty in Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Lyles College of Engineering and College of Science and Mathematics, as well as industry partners.

Other new improvements on campus, some completed over the summer and some still in progress, are part of Castro’s new Strategic Plan of investments in campus facilities and utility infrastructure.

“I am excited to see how our campus has embraced our new Strategic Plan and the four strategic priorities that support and align with our mission, ‘To boldly educate and empower students for success,’” Castro said.

He noted the campus is making significant progress in regards to Priority 3: “Align our physical and technological infrastructure to support a sustainable and welcoming campus environment.”

“This is an excellent move forward,” Castro said. “I recognize the construction on campus may create short-term challenges and frustration for our community, and I hope everyone remembers this work will provide long-term benefit for all.”

These projects include:

$20 million in campus-funded deferred maintenance projects:

  • Joyal Administration parking lot improvements. Completion date: August 2016. Estimated cost: $400,000. (Financed by parking fees)
  • Conley Art 101 lecture room modernization. New seating, lighting, electrical, HVAC, ADA improvements, including remodeled restrooms and path of travel. Completion date: October 2016. Estimated project cost: $640,000.
  • Social Science and Conley Art buildings new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Completion date: August 2016 for Social Sciences and spring 2017 for Conley Art.
    Project cost: $2 million.
  • Elevator upgrades for Grosse Industrial Technology building, Madden Library south wing and Peters Business building. Completion date: fall 2016. Project cost: $1 million.
  • New roofs for Social Sciences, North Gym and North Gym Annex, University Center and Conley Art buildings. Completion date: September 2016. Project cost: $1 million.
  • Street improvements on Jackson Avenue. Completion date: August 2016. Project cost: $270,000.
  • Quad area new hardscape and landscape plan (Social Science, McKee Fisk, Professional and Human Services, Family Food Science) including ADA path of travel improvements. Completion date:
    fall 2016. Project cost: $800,000.
  • North Gym and South Gym building modernization. Remodel to include space for new classrooms and faculty offices for Academic Affairs and facilities for athletics to accommodate new sports teams. Completion date: June 2017. Estimated project cost $10 million.

CSU Capital Outlay Funded Projects:

  • $30 million electrical infrastructure upgrade will be completed in fall 2016.
  • About $3.7 million in construction funds are anticipated from 2015-16 system-wide capital outlay funds for infrastructure projects that include repair of various underground hot water, chilled water, natural gas and sewer lines.

Other campus projects:

  • Jordan Agricultural Research Center. Completed July 2016. Project cost: $24 million. (Fund source: non-state donor funds.)
  • Replacement of the track and other improvements at Warmerdam Field. Completion date: September 2016. Project cost: $2.8 million. (Fund source: campus reserves)
  • Modernization of two science laboratories (McLane Hall and Science I). Completion date: January 2017. Estimated project cost: $1 million. (Fund source: non-state (Foundation) and Academic Affairs reserves.)
  • Modernization of two engineering laboratories (Engineering West). Completion date: fall 2016. Project cost: $500,000. (Fund Source: non-state donor funds.)
  • Playfield upgrade (known as Kinesiology Field) including new sod, irrigation and lighting modification. Completion date: August 2016. Project Cost: $475,000. (Fund Source: ASI, Office of the President, Student Affairs and Administrative Services.)
  • Student Health Center interior improvements Phase 2. Completion date: fall 2016. Estimated project cost: $400,000. (Fund source: Health Center fees.)
  • Financial Aid Office Modernization. Completion date: August 2016. Project cost: $200,000. (Fund source: Student Affairs.)

Other new features this semester:

Among many other new academic components is the new minor in Hmong language studies through the Linguistics Department in the College of Arts and Humanities. Over 100 students are enrolled in Hmong minor courses for fall 2016.

DISCOVERe, Fresno State’s program to use tablets in the classroom for innovative teaching and collaboration, has a new lending program that offers use of an iPad at no cost to students who meet certain financial aid eligibility. The program has 1,200 iPads available for loan on a semester-by-semester basis, said Mike Pronovost, DISCOVERe program manager.

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