Daily 49er

UDP and University Bookstore to receive major upgrade

Renovations to these facilities are tentatively three years away.

The+University+Dining+Plaza+is+home+to+six+49er+Shop+run+stores+that+provide+both+food+and+beverages+to+students+on+campus.
The University Dining Plaza is home to six 49er Shop run stores that provide both food and beverages to students on campus.

The University Dining Plaza is home to six 49er Shop run stores that provide both food and beverages to students on campus.

Sabrina Flores

Sabrina Flores

The University Dining Plaza is home to six 49er Shop run stores that provide both food and beverages to students on campus.

Kat Schuster, News Editor

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For prospective and first-year students at Cal State Long Beach, a major renovation of the University Dining Plaza and University Bookstore may be something to look forward to.

According to Michael Gardner, capital project manager at Physical Planning and Facilities Management, the project is currently gaining traction, but it is about three years away from any physical changes to these buildings.

“There’s definitely room for improvement [in the University Dining Plaza],” Gardner said. “Functionally it works — but physically, it doesn’t feel that welcoming.”

While no official dates have been declared and planning is still in an early phase, Gardner is conducting focus groups to figure out how to best accommodate the needs of campus members.

“We’re not only looking at what students needs are today but five to 10 years from now,” Gardner said. “We’re looking at what students will be wanting [and] what the trends are.”

The student body has mixed responses to the proposal, with some agreeing that the dining plaza is in need of an upgrade and others wishing money would go elsewhere.

“[I feel it’s] great if they’re adding air conditioning,” said Gus Krider, a junior economics major. “[It’s] unfortunate that the whole campus is under construction right now, so I’m sure there will be an element to it that’s inconvenient, but it’s definitely a building that needs [renovating].”

Alternatively, Nathan Carbajal, sophomore political science major, said he feels there are other areas on campus that are in greater need of an update.

“I looked at my classroom in the [Social Sciences & Public Affairs] building and there’s like water coming out [of] the walls,” Carbajal said. “There’s [also] asbestos and ceiling tiles that are falling down versus right here in the dining hall, I think is very well-kept and very clean. I think that priority should be in the buildings where the students are at most of the time.”

Students may be relieved to hear that funding for such a large-scale update will not be coming out of their tuition. According to Gardner, projects built for business operations on campus such as parking, housing and the 49er Shops are obtained through a loan from the state called the Systemwide Revenue Bond.

Members of 49ers Shops also recognize an inclination the students of tomorrow would prefer to swap their print and bound textbooks for e-books.

“Given the way people are shopping, I think we’re all realizing that the bookstore model was fine 10-15 years ago but it’s not so much today,” said Clint Campbell, contract administrator and facilities manager for 49ers Shops.  

While some would agree that modern technology is moving into the era of printless reading materials, others are not so smitten with the idea.

“Personally, I don’t agree with that,” said Shayna Morrison, a sophomore and business administration major. “I think that there’s still students who want to use physical textbooks. While it may add a level of convenience, I think they should offer the hard copies of textbooks as well [as] any other resources.”

 

Grant Hermanns contributed to this story.

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