University Union to undergo $53 million renovation project

An+architectural+rendering+shows+the+planned+appearance+for+the+north+side+of+the+University+Union.+Construction+is+scheduled+to+be+completed+by+August+2018.+%28Courtesy+of+Dreyfuss+%2B+Blackford+Architecture%29
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University Union to undergo $53 million renovation project

An architectural rendering shows the planned appearance for the north side of the University Union. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2018. (Courtesy of Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture)

An architectural rendering shows the planned appearance for the north side of the University Union. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2018. (Courtesy of Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture)

An architectural rendering shows the planned appearance for the north side of the University Union. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2018. (Courtesy of Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture)

An architectural rendering shows the planned appearance for the north side of the University Union. Construction is scheduled to be completed by August 2018. (Courtesy of Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture)

John Ferrannini

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A project that will expand the University Union by one-third will break ground next spring and precede an expansion of the Well, according to an announcement made by the Sacramento State office of public affairs and advocacy last month.

The Union expansion project, scheduled to be completed by August 2018, is intended to alleviate crowding in one of the university’s major foot traffic hubs.

Carly Preston, a student on the University Union Advisory Group, said that she helped push for the expansion for that reason.

“I actually used to work on the second floor and a whole bunch of people would be sitting on the floor or trying to use a computer,” she said. “So many people wanted to use our facilities and we couldn’t accommodate all of them.”

Bill Olmsted, the associate executive director of Union Well, Inc., said that the project came out of meetings with various members of the university community.

“Leslie Davis (the executive director of Union Well Inc.) and I held approximately 30 meetings in the fall (of 2013) to discuss the possibility of expansion with a variety of student groups,” Olmsted said. “Since then we have continued to seek feedback from students, staff and user groups, feedback which has ultimately served to shape our current project.”

This is the fifth expansion for the Union, which originally opened in 1976. The $53 million price tag will be paid for using the funds collected at registration to operate the building.

The expansion of the Union will allow more businesses and university groups to take up residence there.

“The process of deciding what gets placed where has been taking place for the last few years,” Olmsted said. “This is where we work with architects and user groups to determine what size things should be, where they should go, and their general adjacencies to each other.”

Peak Adventures, an athletic recreation program run by the Associated Students, will be moving to the Union after the expansion.

“Prior to the Well being built in 2010, Peak Adventures programs did previously live at the University Union. It’s sort of going back to our original home, so to speak,” said Kael Young, the director of Peak Adventures. “I’m looking forward to the transition back to the Union where we can be back in a more visible place for the students.”

Young also said that the move will increase space in the Well, which is the next building slated to be expanded.

“The other thing driving that return was the need to expand the weight room in the Well,” she said. “There’s high demand there and where we’re located is where they could easily expand.”

Dean Sorensen, the director of the University Union, said that students pushed for the Well to be expanded after they experienced congestion in that location as well.

“The expansion of the Well will include more space for the health side of it and for more locker and fitness spaces,” Sorensen said.

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