The Division of Student Affairs at California State University, Northridge broke ground Oct. 29 on the second phase of The Suites at University Park, the first student housing in the CSU system constructed exclusively for first-time freshmen.
The first phase of construction, which included 400 beds, opened in the fall of 2009. It had the specific intent of improving student success through a residential model that encouraged student interaction as a means to support academic and personal growth. The second building phase of the suites, which is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2015, is a $26 million, 100,000-square-foot facility that will comprise suite-style housing and offer 400 additional beds for first-time freshmen.
“This project supports our No. 1 priority of supporting student success,” said President Dianne F. Harrison to those gathered at the groundbreaking. “It will create a living environment conducive to building community, to fostering collaborative learning, to promoting person development and to encouraging personal responsibility and accountability among students.”
Timothy Trevan, director of student housing and conference services, said the second phase of the freshmen suites will “build on the vision and success” of phase one, whose residents have consistently had higher grade point averages and “better behaviors” than freshmen living in other kinds of housing.
“The freshmen suites complex is without a doubt our most vibrant, connected and socially engaged living community here at Cal State Northridge,” Trevan said.
In addition to the housing, the new complex will include a 6,000-square-foot community center that will offer special programming, offices, classroom and meeting spaces, as well as recreation areas. The new facility will also have a coffee shop with the goal of fostering a sense of community among all the students living in university housing.
Once the facility is complete, university officials plan to seek a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which accredits buildings designed and built with strategies that promote environmental stewardship, sustainability and responsibility.
Some of the suites’ sustainable features will include “cool roof” heat-reflecting roofs, energy-saving lights, low-flow shower heads and dual-flush toilets.
CSUN offers a wide array of housing options suited for incoming freshmen, returning undergraduate and graduate students and students with families: The Suites at University Park, for first-year students; The Apartments at University Park, for freshmen and returning students; and The Apartments at University Village, for students with dependent children and/or a spouse/partner.