Campus Plans Expansions, Renovations
Expansions planned to accomidate climbing enrollment.
December 1, 2005 7:50 PM
Enrollment each year is steadily growing. Over the last 10 years SF State has seen an 8 percent student increase, and it is predicted by the California State University system that enrollment throughout the CSU’s will have a 2.5 percent growth per year, according to Jo Volkert, assistant vice president of Enrollment Planning.
With enrollment steadily increasing over the next decade, it will be necessary for SF State to undergo some physical and internal changes.
“San Francisco State University is developing a comprehensive master plan in anticipation of an increase in the campus population,” said Ellen Griffin, director of Public Affairs and Publications in an email.
In the beginning of this year the Board of Supervisors approved a new master plan of SF State. It includes Hensil hall renovations, a new parking structure, a renovated and expanded library, the new creative arts building, and an engineering and computer science building, a new building replacing the existing HSS building, and a health physical education and recreation building.
Hensil Hall had health and safety problems, but this semester the $18 million renovations were finished. It underwent physical and superficial upgrades to better serve SF State students.
When Hensil Hall was built in 1972 it included a greenhouse, and because of current fire requirements it was expanded to include a fire rated corridor to improve the eighth floor exit, according Roger Fish, director of Capital Planning, Design and Construction.
The 30-year-old life science building renovations also included earthquake reinforcement (or seismic resistance), an upgraded upgrade of the ventilation system, the animal health care facility was completely renovated, environmental chambers in the building were refurbished, and the teaching and research labs were remodeled.
“We have improved seismic strengthening by adding two steel buttresses and shear walls to improve the seismic resistance capacity to the building,” explained Fish.
Currently SF State is working on an approximate $99 million expansion of the campus library. The new library is said to be approximately 382,000 square feet, which is a 100,000 square feet larger. The expansion includes more study areas for students and the Sutro Library – which is now located on Winston Drive —will be added to the campus library.
An automated storage and retrieval unit will be added to basement of the library, and it will undergo renovations to bring the building up to seismic code, according to the library plans.
The library is in its first steps of renovated to better suit the increase of students since it was built, said Fish. When the building was built it accommodated 16,000 full-time students; the new building will support 20,000 full-time students.
“The current plan is to construct the (Sutro Library) first, when the addition is completed, the library functions will be relocated into the addition,” said Fish. “Other existing facilities will be identified on campus to absorb study areas affected by the project.”
The project began in 2000, and is said to be finished in the summer of 2007, according to the Office of Capital Planning, Design and Construction.
A new creative arts building is also being added to the campus in fall 2012. The new building will be built in two phases and located in the large field south of Font Boulevard.
The upcoming creative arts building will be 240,000 square feet, which is 65,000 square feet larger than the existing building, according to Fish. It will include a 250-seat black box theatre, a 1,200-seat auditorium, and a 350-seat recital hall.
The master plan also shows SF State an additional parking structure, Fish said the campus has not started planning this project yet. Currently the university has 2,600, which are enough parking spaces for about 9 percent of its students.
The Parking and Transportation department is working with the Master Plan Sub-Committee on Transportation, Circulation and Parking and they met once in November, according Amalia Borja, the captain of Public Safety.
The parking lot plans, along with the development of the engineering and computer science building, the a new building replacing HSS, and the health physical education and recreation building are not being discussed yet, according to Fish.
The university is also adding 350 spaces in the Towers at Centennial Square apartments next academic year to freshmen students, according to Philippe Cumia, associate director of residential services. This will give SF State a total of 1500 on-campus spaces for freshmen students.
Earlier this semester SF State purchased what was previously known as the Stonestown Apartments, adding 697 potential housing units to the campus. Currently, there are existing tenants living there, but when units become available SF State will offer them to students, faculty, and staff, said Cumia.
SF State is in the process of developing a system that will “give students the opportunity to indicate the courses they plan to take in future semesters at the time they register,” according Volkert. This data collected will be given to departments so they can accommodate students better by understanding what classes are in high demand.
According to Ellen Griffin, director of public affairs, SF State does not yet know how they will accommodate the student increases because it is too soon to say. But once they have the master plan processed the information will be available. Griffin also explained that the State is willing to fund enrollment increases with general fund support dollars.
“The CSU system allocates the funding growth to the 23 CSU campuses. With these funds we are able to hire more faculty to teach more sections and fund other necessary programmatic needs and services including staff,” said Griffin.
Many students like Michael Casey, 22-year-old cinema senior, say they are not affected by the increase of students.
“Personally I haven’t had trouble with getting into classes because of increased enrollment. I can only think of one time,” said Casey. “I am not here enough to really be affected.”
Technical and professional writing major, Liz Owens, 24, thinks that SF State should add more sections to accommodate the increasing amount of students.
“I’ve heard a lot of talk in my classes about expanding discussion classes into lectures. I don’t think this is a good idea because you loose a lot in a lecture class. You don’t get to hear what other people have to say,” said Owens. “More sections will enable the school to keep smaller class sizes.”
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