Firm chosen to design new student center

Maria Martinez

The University Student Union has chosen LPA, Inc. as the design firm for the new Student Recreation Center.

CSUN students voted last April to approve an increase in the USU fee to support building the center.

LPA, Inc. previously designed a 55,000-square foot recreation center, which was completed in August 2004, for Sonoma State University. They’ve also constructed the Brea Sports Complex and the Moreno Valley Recreation Center.

The campus facility will cost about $70 million and cover 100,000 square feet. It’ll have a rock climbing wall, gymnasium courts, an indoor jogging track and an outdoor pool.

Similar to what had been done at Sonoma State, students at CSUN will be able to help with the design development of the building or be part of a focus group that’ll give feedback to LPA, Inc. during its design process.

A previous study was conducted at CSUN to find out what students wanted in a new recreation center.

Last year, Brailsford and Dunlavey, the facility and management firm hired to conduct the surveys, found that students wanted more weight lifting and fitness space, and a babysitting service, among other things.

But Bryanne Knight, the recreation center project supervisor and executive director of the USU, wants students to be more involved.

USU has done much to educate students about the new center. They’ve sent out feasibility surveys through university e-mail, talked to clubs, placed advertisements in the Sundial, have had students talk to classes, Knight said.

“Most students won’t know about it until they see construction being done,” Knight said.

Knight said she thinks the problem lies with students, who come to classes and leave when they’re over.

“Students don’t stay on campus after their classes end and are only focused on their particular building,” Knight said.

About five core students are involved in the design process and attend the meetings every few weeks, Knight said.

The students are from the recreation sports department, Associated Students, or just heard about it after last year’s vote.

Anna Ong, junior kinesiology major, said she likes the idea of a center that’ll hopefully allow people to exercise more often.

“I won’t be here, but I don’t mind having to pay the gradual tuition increase each year,” Ong said.

Ong said she thinks it’ll be good for students who’ll be attending CSUN in the future.

Twenty-two-year-old junior psychology major Catalina Rivas said she feels differently.

“I’ll be long gone before I get to use it,” Rivas said, who’ll have graduated by the time the new recreation center opens its doors.

Rivas said she doesn’t see the point of building a new recreation center that won’t benefit her, which was one of the concerns a lot of students had before voting on the referendum last semester.

Student fees will increase incrementally starting this fall until the 2011-12 academic year, when a final increase of $130 will be added to the current student fee.

Construction will begin on the Student Recreation Center in 2009 and is scheduled to open sometime in 2011.

Students interested in participating in ongoing focus groups to aid in the design of the facility can send an e-mail to or visit

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