Daily 49er

Forum to discuss campus expansions

Campus facilities management invites faculty and students to discuss campus planning.

Elizabeth Campos, Staff Writer

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Parking, dorms and campus buildings will be discussed Tuesday at noon at the University Student Union during the Campus Facilities Strategic Planning Forum.

The forum was organized by the facilities management and campus planning and sustainability staff to engage students in discussion.

Representatives from the USU, the 49er Shops and various departments on campus, as well as Associated Students Inc. President Marvin Flores, will be at the event.

Michael Gardner, Cal State Long Beach’s manager of campus planning and sustainability, said he wants to get students interested and bring them into the conversation about the future of the campus.

Gardner said that CSULB President Jane Close Conoley asked facilities management to strategize a ten-year plan on what the campus should look like in 2026.

One of the topics that Gardner said he wishes to address at the forum is student housing.

CSULB has several housing buildings, both on campus and off campus – Los Cerritos, Los Alamitos, Residential Learning College, Hillside, Parkside, Beachside and International House. These living spaces accommodate more than 2,400 students.

“There’s a 37,000 headcount on campus and we only have 2,500 beds in dorms,” he said. “So, it’s a very small percentage of housing for a CSU campus.”

Technology is another topic that will be discussed at the forum.

Chris Burnett, a journalism professor and the facilities director of the College of Liberal Arts, has worked on campus for 15 years and said he has seen a rapid increase in technology.

CSULB has advanced technology in classrooms in the College of Liberal Arts buildings as well as in the College of Business Administration.

These buildings have computer labs and active learning classrooms where up to six people can be accommodated at one table equipped with a television screen.

“The future is represented all around the room,” said Gardner.

Sustainability on campus will also be discussed.

Gardner explained that CSULB has already began efforts to make the campus greener and sustainable, such as the campus shuttle system.

The campus shuttles run on compressed natural gas that produces 30 percent less emissions than traditional gas fueled vehicles.

CSULB has three off-campus shuttles – Anaheim Street, Los Coyotes and Beachside. The on-campus shuttles are East Loop, West Loop and All Campus Tripper.

According to CSULB’s website, the university has three operating solar power systems that account for approximately 3 percent of the campus’ peak electrical load.

Solar panels are atop Brotman Hall and more panels will be placed on parking Lots 7 and 14, next year. Lot 7 is located behind the Theater Arts building and Lot 14 is near the dorms.

As far as parking, Gardner said that aside from the recent Lot 7 expansion, there’s no plans for further lot expansions.

The goal, he said, is encouraging more sustainable transportation methods such as campus shuttles, carpooling and biking.

The budget for the campus’ physical development is yet to be determined; however, Gardner said that the university is looking to state funding and donors.

Burnett said that it’s important to get views from everyone from students and faculty members alike for the future of the campus development.

“This is an attempt to bring students and faculty together,” he said, “and talk about what they think is good about the campus and what would they like to see in the future.”

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