Wondering when the building will be completed? Below is a continually updated timeline of the Student Union Expansion & Renovation project. Check back from time to time for more specific time frames as we get closer and closer to completion.
In late July, the first steps toward a new Student Union were taken. Fences were erected around the construction zone and demolition of the Old Cafeteria, home to the University Room and alumni favorite Spartan Pub, began. Throughout demolition, trucks drove down the 7th Street thoroughfare and out through the ATM parking lot, removing debris and dirt from the construction zone. The old service elevator in the northeast corner of the Old Cafeteria building was the last part of the structure to be torn down.
Preliminary construction of the new facilities commenced toward the end of the fall semester. Once the entire project is completed, this section of the building will contain Spartan Dining, International & Extended Studies, and the new huge ballroom. Construction on a new Theater and Lecture Hall on the site of the old amphitheater began around the same time.
Permanent Fences: On November 1st, plywood fencing that will surround the building throughout the construction process began to be erected. No students will ever again sit in the outdoor Student Union Amphitheatre, and soon outdoor seating on the west side of the building will no longer exist. Make way, history; the future's coming.
Groundbreaking: Ground was broken for the construction of the New Student Union on November 17, 2010. Thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members were on hand to help usher in a new legacy on the SJSU campus. Guests of the event enjoyed cake, live entertainment, prizes, and free shirts.
Demolition of the old structures was completed. The initial stages of construction included reinforcing and bracing the existing facility for the groundwork that must occur, including piling. Underground pipes and cabling were surveyed, repaired, or expanded to support the new SU. This is also the phase in which the first adjustments occured, such as the installation of temporary emergency exits. The brown plywood fence was painted blue, given signage, and turned into a work of art.
Dirty Brushes: A student group called The Dirty Brushes looked at the big construction fence and saw one great canvas for art. Together, the Student Union, Inc. worked with the group to find a place where they could help give the campus some color and character. After the fence turned blue and signage was applied, the students got to work, drawing portraits of famous artists drawn in their own style.
Steel framework began to poke over the construction fence, and the students and community of SJSU got their first glimpse of the size of their center for campus life. Piles were driven almost 100 feet into the ground to provide a stable backbone for the steel beams that comprise the new building.
Construction of the expansion portion continued, as the facility's steel framework was filled out. Metal floor plates were installed, hashed with rebar, and concrete was poured on each level. The theatre & lecture hall on the east side of the Student Union remained be slightly ahead of construction on the west side of the building.
The expansions already have interior walls, ventilation, and many other pieces of interal infrastracture in place. By the end of the semester, the west expansion's north side was covered in bright yellow sheathing. Construction is humming along.
The expansion portion of the New Student Union will near completion toward the end of the Spring semester. The east expansion remains slightly head of the west, getting its glass and metal facade installed first. As the semester comes to an end, Student Union, Inc. services and programs will prepare to move into temporary homes all around campus.
Once the expansion is completed, the existing Student Union building will be closed for renovation. All departments, services, and programs currently housed in the building will either move to other locations on campus or temporarily close for the duration of the renovation. Some departments may close during the moving process, but we will work hard to be back to top operational shape by the beginning of Fall 2013. It's hour hope to provide as seamless a transitional experience as possible for the students and community. Once everyone has moved out, the old Student Union building originally constructed in 1969 will begin renovations.
With the original SU closed for shop, the construction crew can begin seismic retrofits of the structure and begin to assess the best course of action for renovations. With any building nearing 45 years old, there are many parts of the infrastructure that are question marks. All of these issues will be addressed early in the fall semester. The expansions of the New SU will be open for students to use, including the new ballroom, the Union Square food court, and the indoor theatre.
Renovations to the original SU will be finishing mid- to late-Spring 2014. Once they are complete, the existing building will close again for a short time for departments and services to move back into the building while finishing touches, such as furniture and wayfinding installation, are completed.
More Campus Life comes to San José State University as the New Student Union is opened toward the end of the semester.
A Note on Delays: Please note that all dates are rough estimates. While the Student Union places a strong emphasis on accountability and efficiency, unforeseen delays are bound to occur. Construction projects are often at the mercy of heavy rain seasons, and renovations can lead to the discovery of previously unknown 40-year-old design quirks. There are also some possible delays that are unique to building on a university campus. During the construction process, policy can change quickly and affect the construction process. Additionally, SJSU's age plays a major factor. Because the campus is over 150 years old, not many maps of the construction site's underlying infrastructure are entirely accurate. Pipes aren't where they should be, and we're discovering some that are so old, we didn't even know they existed. Time for such delays has been added to the above timeline, but further delays are not outside the realm of possibility. The Student Union, Inc. always considers the needs of students first and foremost and wishes to complete this project as fast and with as high a level of quality as possible.