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The EIS Complex is on schedule for a January 2018 opening. The EIS Complex is on schedule for a January 2018 opening.

Fall Campus Construction Update

Construction and campus beautification projects moved ahead over the summer.
By Katie White

If you have been on Montezuma Mesa lately, you may have noticed some pre-semester hustle and bustle. Over the summer, crews moved forward on a number of construction and beautification projects at San Diego State University including the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex (EIS), South Campus Plaza, Centennial Mall, the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre and a new recreation field.

“These projects will create greater educational opportunities for our students, cutting-edge technology for our researchers and enhancements that will benefit our entire campus community as well as our broader community,” said President Elliot Hirshman.

Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex

The EIS Complex is on schedule for a January 2018 opening. The foundation has been poured and walls are going up, with work just beginning on the second level. The lowest-level slabs will hold the university’s first on-campus functional MRI (fMRI) machine, which measures brain activity and can be used to investigate normal cognitive functioning as well as disorders such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Robert Schulz, associate vice president of operations and university architect, the fMRI machine will be installed in January 2017, as opposed to when the building is complete, because of its size and complexity.

“It’s such a big device, you can’t put it in after the building is done,” Schulz said. “We’re going to be building around it.”

When complete, the EIS Complex will house cutting-edge labs, open working spaces and state-of-the-art classrooms, all designed around the idea of fostering collaboration across disciplines. In addition, the project will house the William E. Leonhard Entrepreneurship Center, containing both the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad and Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

South Campus Plaza

Construction at South Campus Plaza is nearly complete and students are expected to move into the residential areas before the start of the spring 2017 semester.

The project will include housing for more than 600 students, along with shopping and dining facilities serving both the campus and the surrounding community. The residential space will feature student learning spaces, multipurpose rooms, faculty offices, study areas, lounges and a community kitchen.

The retail component of South Campus Plaza will include a Trader Joe's, as well as a Eureka! restaurant and several other dining and retail offerings. Negotiations with future tenants are ongoing, and Aztec Shops hopes to announce additional tenants soon. All retail spaces are expected to be leased and occupied by fall 2017.

Centennial Mall

Just north of South Campus Plaza, Centennial Mall is also undergoing a major overhaul. Turf and plants have been removed from the area and will be replaced by trees. Once the trees are in place, workers will install seating areas to provide additional studying and socializing space for the campus community.

Replacing the turf with trees will create much-needed shaded areas and help the university with its efforts to conserve resources. The project at Centennial Mall will reduce water use on the site by 63 percent and decrease greenhouse gas emissions on campus.

New campus entryway

The university is also constructing monuments at the main campus gateway at Campanile Drive and Montezuma Road. A tall tower in the median and two lower towers on each side are designed to assist with navigation.

The monument is part of a larger wayfinding effort that includes banners, vehicular directional signage and new parking signs intended to improve campus aesthetics and better define its boundaries.  

“The new monuments help create a positive first impression for visitors and prospective students and provide a sense of identity for the campus community,” said Laura Shinn, director of facilities planning.

The work is nearing completion and all roads and sidewalks will be open before classes start on Aug. 29.

Scripps Cottage

The historic Scripps Cottage was renovated over the summer. Because it is a historical structure, built in 1931, crews took special care to ensure the character of the building remains intact. They restored three sets of aging French doors and added four additional sets of French doors. Crews also raised the floor level of the porch of the cottage and added new paint and carpet. Scripps Cottage is scheduled to reopen on the first day of classes.

CalCoast Credit Union Open Air Theatre

Aztecs and community members attending events at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre will soon notice some big changes at the venue. Crews are adding two structures on the western side of the theatre. The foundation and piping are already in place, and workers will start adding the walls of the structures in the coming weeks. One structure will enclose restrooms; the other will house a concession stand.

Recreation Field

Crews are also putting the final touches on the new recreation field located on the north side of Parking Structure 12. The facility will include soccer and running fields and is expected to be ready for use at the beginning of the fall semester. The space is open to students involved in sport club practices and competitions, as well as intramural leagues. Drop-in hours will also be available to accommodate those in the SDSU community who are not part of a specific league.

Gender Neutral Restrooms

Three additional gender neutral restrooms are in the works. They will be located at Peterson Gym, the Calpulli Center and in the 24/7 area of Love Library. All three are expected to be completed early next year and will bring the total number of gender neutral restrooms on campus to 14.

Zura Hall Recognition

SDSU’s efforts to reinvent the campus are not going unnoticed. The Design Build Institute of America recently named the Zura Hall renovation one of the two best Rehabilitation, Renovation and/or Restoration projects in the nation.

“We put a tremendous amount of work into the renovation of Zura Hall within a very short time frame and this award is a great recognition of our efforts,” Schulz said. “Thanks to everyone’s hard work, Zura Hall is now the flagship residence hall on campus, and it’s raising the bar for us to come up with additional environmentally-friendly building solutions for our future projects.”