Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Room to Grow

A new Aztec Center will accommodate the projected growth of SDSU's student population.
By Chris Arechaederra

After serving four decades as the central meeting place for SDSU students, Aztec Center will be demolished in June to make way for a new student union with almost twice the space and a host of environmentally friendly amenities.

Built in 1968 to support approximately 14,000 students, the current building would have cost millions of dollars to repair and upgrade. Instead, Associated Students proposed a new structure to accommodate the projected growth in SDSU’s population.

Construction of the new Aztec Center Student Union will take place over two years at a cost of $101 million. Students approved two referendums—the first in 2006 and another in March 2010—for a fee increase of $94 per semester to cover the cost of construction and operation. The fee will be levied for 30+ years beginning in fall 2013.

Features of the new Aztec Center include quiet study lounges with wireless Internet accessibility, healthy dining options, a satellite fitness center, increased office and meeting space for student organizations, outdoor courtyards, a remodeled Montezuma Hall, a 300-seat multipurpose theater and a new bowling and games center. Designed in classic Mission Revival style, the new building pays tribute to the rich architectural history of the SDSU campus.

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 providing standards for environmentally sustainable construction with silver, gold or platinum levels of certification. Among the sustainable features of the new building are a vegetative roof, photovoltaic solar panels, a radiant floor system, and a ground heat exchanger.

A student committee will determine the best way to reuse or memorialize the existing tree in the courtyard of Aztec Center. Suggestions include using the wood in a themed area inside the building decorated with images of the tree.