As the majority of students, faculty and staff disappeared from campus in May for summer, several major construction and renovation projects revved up at Fresno State.
The Meyers Sports Medicine Facility
The Meyers Sports Medicine Facility, which is located between the Duncan Building and the Ricchiuti Academic Center, was among those projects.
“This is probably the biggest project that got completed this summer,” Gary Wilson, Senior Director of Facilities Management, said.
The 10,726-square-foot building, which had a total project cost of $6.7 million, was entirely funded by donors, with the largest donator being the Meyers family.
The facility, which will provide athletic training and rehabilitation services to all student athletes, will house first-class rehabilitation equipment, hydrotherapy pools, workout pools, a student-athlete lounge and offices for all employees that work in the athletic training area.
“It’s going to help tremendously with our student athletes and rehabilitation,” John Kriebs, Associate Athletics Director for Facilities Operations, said. “It’s also going to be the anchor for our student-athlete village, because it’s going to sit there right by the weight room, right by our academic center and where our computer lab is so everything can be almost a one-stop shop the for student athletes.”
Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh said he could not be more grateful to Fresno State alumnus Marvin Meyers and his family for their donation.
“It’s an honor for us to have his family’s name on one of our buildings,” Boeh said. “He is such an extraordinary individual, and he’s given so much back to the community.”
Wilson said the facility will be ready for occupancy no later than Labor Day weekend.
Another project completed near the beginning of summer was the transformation of the old aquatic center in North Gym 118 into a 500-seat multi-purpose assembly room that students and faculty can reserve for seminars, conferences or any other needs they may have.
Work on the North Gym didn’t end there. Wilson said Facilities Management continued to make improvements to the North Gym area throughout summer.
Some of those improvements include a new outdoor plaza that Wilson said will undergo landscaping in the next 30 to 40 days, a concrete walkway, and a handicap ramp built to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
There is also a new turnaround for traffic near North Gym at the end of Campus Drive.
“This [turnaround] is huge right here,” Wilson said. “This takes care of a lot of the traffic that used to go through here—and all of the parking for the drop-off space—but it also enhances this area.”
The North Gym is also set to get its own convenience store in the near future.
The store was contracted by California State University, Fresno Association, Inc., a recognized, self-supporting auxiliary organization of Fresno State that provides commercial and other support services to campus entities, such as the Kennel Bookstore.
Deborah Adishian-Astone, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Operations and Enterprise Development, said the store—which will be called the “Bulldog Bodega”—should be open to students by mid-September.
“There is a need for convenience items near the residence halls and students who walk or bike to campus from neighboring apartments,” Adishian-Astone said. “We have limited retail on the west end of campus and with all of the other modifications being done in and around the North Gym building, it was a great opportunity for us to provide additional services to our students and campus community.
“We plan to be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. initially to determine traffic patterns and customer demand. Our goal is to capture evening sales so our students do not have to walk off campus.”
The store will offer a wide variety of food and snacks, basic school supplies, beverages and even some household items, Adishian-Astone said.
Wilson said construction work on the interior retail shelving and vending machines for the new convenience store is underway.
Americans With Disabilities Act
Accessibility projects were also completed this summer. Wilson said Facilities Management aims to do one or two ADA projects every semester and around six every year.
“No matter what projects we do, we always have an ADA project upgrade,” Wilson said. “Those are always top on our list.”
For example, new restrooms that meet ADA standards were built in the Family and Food Science Building and Engineering West. Both restrooms are open for use now.
The ADA-approved restrooms will feature new grab bars, bigger restroom compartments to accommodate those with wheelchairs and new automatic hand dryers to help keep the area clear from waste.
All of the new buildings on campus are ADA accessible, but not all of the older buildings.
Minor Capital Outlay funding, which includes state-funded projects under $610,000 built to fix deficiencies, offer access, or create new or improved facilities used to pay for ADA projects. But that isn’t the case at the moment.
“With the recent economy in the state of California, we haven’t received any of those dollars, so we’ve just been paying for ADA improvements either through our general fund or deferred maintenance program,” Wilson said. “It’s an ongoing challenge because the codes continue to change.”
Some smaller projects completed over summer include a new bright red and blue shade structure over the Aquatics Center and a revamp of Fresno State’s campus water tower, which now boasts the new Fresno State logo. Wilson said the tower was last changed about 15 years ago.
Students might also notice that 136 classrooms on campus were converted to smart classrooms over summer with the combined help of Technology Services, Classroom and Video Services, and Facilities Management.
Upgrades include new HDMI cables, Blu-ray players, top-of-the-line projectors and improved lighting controls.
Ozzy Mendoza, a Technology Services student assistant who helped Classroom and Video Services with upgrades over summer, said the improvements will make the classroom experience better for both professors and students. They will now have access to enhanced audio and video capabilities.
“All the audio and video is all in one cable, so it’s easier for the professor,” Mendoza said. “All they have to do is pop in one cable and they’ll get audio and video.”
Right now, Wilson said there are over 50 campus projects underway, so be on the lookout for more hard hats and yellow tape.
“The reason we’re here is to provide the best learning environment we can for these students,” Wilson said. “A lot of times we get frustrated because maybe we don’t have enough funding to do everything, but really, that’s everybody’s goal here.”