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Modern Space Gets Green Light

Students approved the fee referendum that will fund construction of a new student union on the current site of Aztec Center.
A rendering of the new student union, approved by students and slated for completion in fall 2013.
A rendering of the new student union, approved by students and slated for completion in fall 2013.

Modern Space

An aerial view of the proposed building, highlighting just a few of the many sustainable features planned for the first-ever LEED platinum-certified student union in the nation.
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The Green Zone
An aerial view of the proposed building, highlighting just a few of the many sustainable features planned for the first-ever LEED platinum-certified student union in the nation.
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SDSU students have spoken—and approved an increase in student fees to fund construction of a new student union.

With approval for the project, Modern Space, the Student Body Center Fee will increase by $94 per semester upon construction completion.

The fee is subject to final approval by SDSU President Stephen L. Weber, who said he supports the project and will approve it when it comes across his desk.

Online voting

Conducted online via WebPortal, 4,045 students voted on the referendum, with 2,200 votes in favor of the project (about 54 percent).

New student union

The new student union project is a green building nearly twice the size of Aztec Center. Built in 1968 to support a student population of approximately 14,000 students, the current Aztec Center student union would have cost millions of dollars to repair and upgrade had the vote not passed. 

The new student union will deliver more study lounges, healthy dining options, a new bowling and games center, an auxiliary fitness facility, a 330-seat multi-purpose theatre and more social and recreational opportunities for future SDSU students.       

Going green

Associated Students is pursuing the highest possible standards in environmentally sustainable buildings for the new facility: a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification. LEED is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council and provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction with three levels of certification: silver, gold and platinum. 

A few of the sustainable features of ModernSpace include:

  • Reuse of demolished building materials
  • A vegetative roof
  • Photovoltaic solar collection
  • Natural day lighting
  • Radiant floor systems
  • Pervious paving that allows storm water collection


Construction of the new student union is scheduled to begin June 2011 and is anticipated to be completed in fall 2013. Associated Students is currently trying to identify temporary office space where both student services and student organizations can relocate during construction.

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