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The Leon S. Peters Business Building will be one of the locations that will receive classroom upgrades on campus. (Daniel Avalos/The Collegian)

Castro’s $26 million campus renovation plan could see results by next fall

By next fall, students at Fresno State might be walking into remodeled classrooms.

At least that’s the plan after Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro announced a $26 million project for campus renovations.

“[A] critical ingredient to our success as a university is to preserve and upgrade our physical and technological infrastructure,” Castro said during his fall address in August. “We have addressed these infrastructure issues aggressively.”

The $26 million is provided by central campus reserves and Academic Affairs. The money will be divided and used to update or modernize different buildings on campus.

About $10 million will be used for renovations in the North and South gyms. Another $5 million will be used to modernize what Castro considers “the oldest and most important spaces” on campus.

The remaining funds are expected to be used to update classrooms in different buildings across the campus.

Vice President of Administration Deborah Adishian-Astone said the classrooms being targeted for renovation are those that have gone untouched by major updates for the past 20 years.

“We also looked at classrooms with high utilization,” Adishian-Astone said.

The university received feedback from college deans, staff and faculty about what areas need the most attention, she said.

The first phase of campus renovations will begin in the summer of 2018 and the second phase will begin in the summer of 2019. The first phase is expected to be completed by fall 2018, according to Sara Mitchel, interim director for planning, design and construction in the facilities management department.

“The investment to modernize our classrooms is a top priority for our campus,” Mitchel said.

The rooms planned for this summer are: Social Science 210, Professional Human Services 102, McLane 161, Science II 109 and 207, Speech Arts 26, Grosse Industrial Technology 288 and Agricultural Sciences 109.

The rooms planned for the summer 2019 are: McLane 121 and 162, Peters Building 103 and IT 101.

Mitchel said the classroom renovations will be similar to those recently done in the Conley Art 101 lecture hall.

“[There will be] new seating, technology, lighting, ceilings, paint and flooring,” Mitchel said. “Rooms with tiered, fixed seating, will get new fixed seating.”

The projected renovations on campus are part of an ongoing effort by Castro’s administration. Previously, the Jordan Agricultural Research and the Physical Therapy and Intercollegiate Athletics buildings were built.

The hope with all the modernizations is that “students and faculty will have an enhanced learning and teaching environment,” Mitchel said.