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Davis, California

Monday, June 17, 2024

Student Community Center, Silo upgrade to improve student life resources

Two on-campus construction projects, one fully underway and the other set to begin this summer, have plans for completion during the 2011-12 school year.

The Student Community Center (SCC), currently under construction across from Chemistry 194, is scheduled to open in Spring 2012, while renovations to the Silo will take place in phases, the first of which is expected to be finished before Fall 2011.

Griselda Castro, assistant vice chancellor of Student Affairs, said the SCC is part of the Campus Expansion Initiative (CEI) that students voted on and approved during the 2002-03 school year.

“The SCC will encourage interaction among students, staff and faculty of all backgrounds and experiences by providing intentional gathering and meeting spaces for all members of the campus community,” she said.

The SCC will house a number of student community resource centers, including the Cross Cultural Center, the Student Recruitment and Retention Center and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center. Castro said the location of the building was strategically planned to connect areas of interest on campus.

“The campus framework plan calls for removing the south wings of Walker Hall, which will open up the middle of that block and create a pedestrian promenade from Shields Library to the Silo,” she said. “[The SCC] will occupy a key location right along that walk that will eventually link the quad and library with the Silo.”

The SCC will include an Information and Educational Technology (IET) Media Lab as well as computer classrooms, Castro said. There will also be an extended-hours reading room and lounge, undergraduate-to-graduate transition support through the Undergraduate Research Center and a small coffee shop to be managed by ASUCD.

The Silo renovations, which have yet to begin, will be done in phases to allow portions of the Silo to remain open. Emily Galindo, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs, said that the rationale for construction is a desire to create a better destination for the campus community.

Galindo said reasons for the renovations include expanding seating options indoors and outdoors, providing new programming opportunities such as the Davis Farmers Market and generating new revenue opportunities.

The renovations will also allow for new vendors to come into the Silo and thus give students a wider range of restaurants to choose from when they visit, Galindo said.

“Our current plans [for new vendors] include a fully licensed Starbucks, a Star Ginger food truck offering Vietnamese and Thai cuisine and an additional food truck with still to be determined food options,” she said in an e-mail.

Alexander Achimore, assistant director of project management for UC Davis Design and Construction Management, stressed that the renovations are also necessary because the Silo currently looks rundown.

“[The Silo] doesn’t serve everyone as well as it can, and it doesn’t have enough capacity,” he said.

Galindo said that funding for the SCC came from campus-based fees voted on by students in the CEI and the Facilities and Campus Enhancement Initiative, as well as external campus financing. Funding for the Silo renovations came from Memorial Union Reserves, external campus financing and a financial investment by Sodexho. The SCC is expected to cost $30.4 million and the Silo renovations are expected to cost $3.5 million.

Castro said that these construction projects, especially the SCC, will bring many educational and social benefits to the student community.

“[The SCC] will promote opportunities for student success, mentorship and pathways to post graduate education, diversity education and inclusion, community engagement and opportunities for leadership and global citizenry,” she said.

VICTOR BEIGELMAN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.



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