Rendering of expansion plans for the University Union at Sacramento State Dreyfuss + Blackford

Rendering of expansion plans for the University Union at Sacramento State.

$53 million project will expand and renovate student union at Sacramento State University

71,000-square-foot addition will provide badly needed space for students.

Sacramento State University plans to break ground early next year on a 71,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of the University Union.

The university says a three-story addition to the north side of the 183,000-square-foot building will include a storefront for Peak Adventures, a premium coffee venue, meeting and conference spaces for student groups and other organizations, additional restrooms, a study lounge, food-service storage, expanded casual seating, and an outdoor seating/pavilion area.

The $53 million project will be paid for with student fees, reserves from Union WELL Inc., and generated revenue. No state funds will be used. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017 and to be completed by August 2018.

The union, which serves as the campus “living room” for 30,000 students, now houses study areas, food services, meeting spaces, and program offices. It opened in 1976 and has undergone several expansions—in 1990, 1992, 1998, and 2005.

“The Union suffers from an overall lack of space, primarily for open seating and places for people to just ‘hang out,’ ” says Bill Olmsted, associate executive director of Union WELL Inc., the not-for-profit entity that operates the union. “If you walk through the Union at any given time, you will see people sitting on the floor in hallways and alcoves. You will see them trying to eat lunch or type a paper while sitting in a stairwell. For several years, those have been the blatant signs of our space limitations. The expansion will allow more students to spend time comfortably in the building.”

The addition will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED) Gold standards, with sustainability measures such as the incorporation of daylight, low-emitting materials, and air quality management plans. The existing building will be updated with new HVAC, and fire alarm and lighting-control systems.

The architect for project is Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture, and the design-build contractor is McCarthy Building Companies.

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