The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN constructs first new building in 13 years

California State University, Northridge’s new Maple Hall, a $43.4 million academic building equipped with technological advancements, is set to complete construction Nov. 1.

Formerly known as the Sierra Annex, Maple Hall is a 62,000-square foot academic building, and the sister building of Sierra Hall, along Etiwanda Avenue on the south end of campus.

Constructed by Gilbane Building Company and the architecture firm Gensler, Maple Hall is a classroom-only building with no faculty offices. The complex will feature 38 classrooms ranging from 20-seat seminar rooms to a 130-seat lecture hall. CSUN filled these classrooms with technology, including HyFlex and smart screens, that improves the academic experience for students and teachers alike. A large, open atrium features seating areas for students to form study groups or socialize under natural light.

A construction worker holds an epoxy gun as he rechecks glass panels at the Sierra Annex, Maple Hall, Northridge, Calif., on March 16, 2023. (Solomon O. Smith)

“Sierra Annex is built to a modern university’s degree,” said Ken Rosenthal, associate vice president of facilities development and operations. “The new classrooms promote active learning among students.”

With a focus on flexibility and comfort, the classrooms allow students to reorganize furniture to facilitate breakout sessions. The lecture halls utilize curved, tiered seating rows so students have a clear view of the entire room.

The rooms are not only tailored for student learning, but also for teachers’ comfort. Classrooms will feature a presentation screen in the back of the room so the professor can easily teach facing their students rather than having to look back and forth.

“Three lecture halls and two seminar rooms will all be HyFlex, Hybrid-Flexible, technology, which means that you can have cameras and sound for both the students and faculty in the room,” said Diane Stephens, associate vice president of academic resources and planning. “You can have someone teach in HyFlex mode, where you have a cohort of students who are in attendance online at the same time as you have class going on in person.”

HyFlex teaching started back in 2006, but was quickly popularized due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced most schools to consider alternatives to in-person classes.

Security features of the building include gunshot detection systems, security cameras, lockable classrooms and emergency duress systems.

Photo from

The original launch date of the building was the beginning of the 2023 fall semester, but the project was delayed by three months, according to Rosenthal.

“We’ve had delays due to two primary things: supply line issues from COVID-19 and the recent rain,” said Rosenthal.

The construction will now be finished Nov. 1, with its doors likely opening for students and teachers in spring 2024.

This academic building will be CSUN’s first new complex since 2009. The project was announced in 2021 by the university, though designs for the building were started on Dec. 21, 2020, by Gilbane and Gensler. The two companies also built the Associated Students Sustainability Center in 2017, which won awards for its numerous amenities.

When the new complex completes construction, around 557 classes from Sierra Hall will be moved to Maple Hall to make way for the older building’s renovations in 2025.

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