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Friday, April 19, 2024

News in Brief: Update on Freeborn Hall Renovation

Plans to renovate Freeborn Hall during the summer of 2014 have left the future use of the building up in the air.

Whether the lecture hall will be completely demolished for construction of an entirely new building or just renovated for seismic updates is still up in the air. However, Lower Freeborn is to remain open for an extended period of time.

“When we announced that Freeborn was going to go offline this year, even in that announcement it was clearly stated that even though Freeborn will be going offline, Lower will remain open,” said John Campbell, director of recreation, the Memorial Union, UC Davis stores and divisional facilities.

Although it may have been vocalized that it’d be helpful if both levels were closed, it was never intended to disrupt ASUCD’s operating units in Lower Freeborn, including KDVS.

The project is far from the point of needing the radio station to relocate as early as summer 2015, as was previously discussed.

UC Davis alumnus and former KDVS general manager Justin Cable expressed to John Meyer, vice chancellor of Administrative and Resource Management, KDVS’ concerns of the difficulty and cost of possibly moving to a temporary location.

“It really couldn’t have gone better for us because they’re including us in a lot of the discussions, now they know what our issue is,” said Cameron Cairns, general manager of KDVS.

A study for the project is being conducted to discuss current needs as well as other areas of student life. The first kickoff meeting with the project advisory group took place last week on Jan. 23.

“This is going to be one of the processes of a great study in discussion with multiple users and user needs,” Campbell said. “Our vice chancellor of Student Affairs has ensured that the student voice is being heard as we have a large number of student representation.”

The space’s intended use is student driven, and ideas of creating a new student union have been discussed.

“We don’t want to just build an ASUCD office building, we want to create a space that truly serves the student needs,” said ASUCD Controller Eric Evans.

The project is early in its stages, and program definition to determine the many needs and uses of the facility has only just begun. Campbell estimates eight to 12 months for the design group to solidify ideas, but it could possibly be years until any actual construction.

The 60-year-old hall will still shut down at the end of June due to safety issues, but there is no displacement plan for any of the operating units using Lower Freeborn.


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