The need for a new physical sciences building on the California State University, Chico campus was determined. Plans and blueprints were rendered. And the space has been cleared.
Now, it’s time to start raising the University’s newest building.
CSU, Chico will host a groundbreaking ceremony for its new physical sciences building on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 11:30 a.m. on Glenn Lawn. The campus and community are invited to attend the event, which will take place a few steps away from the existing construction site just east of Langdon Hall, north of Meriam Library and south of Big Chico Creek, where Siskiyou Hall once stood.
After a welcome from CSU, Chico President Gayle Hutchinson, Dennis Ramirez, chairperson of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of Chico Rancheria, will offer remarks, followed by CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea; CSU, Chico Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Debra Larson; and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences David Hassenzahl will follow.
A photo opportunity featuring President Hutchinson, Dean Hassenzahl, and University students is scheduled for noon.
The College of Natural Sciences has collaborated with DPR Construction and SmithGroup to design a building to reflect the University’s learning and teaching needs while providing an aesthetically pleasing structure. Mike Guzzi, director of Facilities Management and Services, said the result incorporates form and function, while blending historic Chico State and contemporary architectural elements.
“The building is designed to create a welcoming, warm environment that fosters student engagement and collaboration,” Guzzi said. “The exterior breezeway and large windows invite campus and the community to engage in science by putting science on display.”
The state-of-the-art $101 million facility will help advance CSU, Chico’s role as a leader within the North State and across the 23-campus CSU system. Slated to open in fall 2020, the 110,200-square-foot building will include space for chemistry, physics, geological science, and science education labs, as well as active-learning classrooms, synergy between interior learning spaces and outdoor classrooms, graduate research studios, a dean’s suite, dozens of faculty offices, and administrative and support areas.
Hassenzahl noted that because science requires collaboration, University faculty are already considering the building’s new features into their future curriculum.
“Our new building will promote collaboration among our students, faculty and staff, and this collaboration will occur in classrooms, labs and other spaces throughout the building,” Hassenzahl said. “The overall design will draw people to science and keep them engaged once they are there.”
The building is also designed to encourage science participation beyond the University’s faculty, staff and students.
“Through a hands-on laboratory for K-12 students and science on-display features, the building will be a resource for the whole community,” Hassenzahl added.
The new building also will support work made possible by Chico State’s recent $4.2 million, five-year grant from the US Department of Education. The Hispanic-Serving Institution STEM grant supports agriculture, natural sciences, and engineering, computer science and construction management students who identify as low-income, first generation or Hispanic.
The building is primarily financed by the CSU systemwide revenue bond program, with a small contribution from campus-designated capital reserves. It will replace all functions located in the current Physical Science Building behind Ayres Hall, allowing those spaces to be renovated and repurposed in future projects.
The University will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for the new physical sciences building. Its embrace of sustainable design includes innovative features such as shading and sunscreens that minimize energy use while maximizing daylight, right-sizing laboratory equipment loads, and embracing other energy- and water-saving measures.
Those who require an accommodation in order to attend the groundbreaking ceremony or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.