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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Ground breaking dorm construction ceremony

University+leaders+dig+into+the+ground+at+the+construction+site+of+where+the+new+dorms+will+be+in+Northridge%2C+Calif.%2C+on+Nov.+15%2C+2023.
Melody Rugtaengam
University leaders “dig” into the ground at the construction site of where the new dorms will be in Northridge, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2023.

University and community leaders joined together next to Geronimo’s on Nov. 15 for a two-hour groundbreaking event amid a Teamster strike.

CSUN has begun the construction phase for the two new dorms located on the corner of Lassen and Zelzah.

Before the ceremony, members of the Teamsters Local Chapter 2010 rallied together in the pouring rain and chanted against the new Student Housing project due to feeling frustrated that CSUN spent millions of dollars on new buildings, while they were still fighting for better pay.

Reception guests were invited to drink and eat at a grazing table during a catered pre- ceremony. Executive Director of Student Housing and Residential life Kevin Conn acknowledged the land in an opening speech.

“CSUN recognizes and acknowledges the Sesevitam, the first people of this ancestral and unceded territory of Sesevenga, which is now occupied by our institution,” Conn said.

President Erika Beck announced that CSUN is the first CSU to be approved for an affordable housing project.

“After tuition, the single most expensive part of a college education is housing,” Beck said. “We know that access to affordable housing is a critical component of student success, and we also know the lack of access to affordable housing is a formidable bearer for our students.

CSUN received an estimate of $37,500,000 from the state with the California Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program. All of the grant fund is going towards the new project with the total cost of the project being approximately $72.9 million.

The new affordable housing project will be able to house 198 more students. CSUN currently has 3,244 beds on campus and 56% of the beds are occupied by low-income students.

“Our students get a lot of financial aid but still at that we have students who do not get enough or either not eligible for financial aid or don’t get enough aid to be able reside on campus,” said William Watkins, Vice President for Student Affairs.

The new dorms are being built by C.W. Driver Contractor and the designs were created by AC Martin. The new buildings will be five stories high and the ground floor will be dedicated to student space such as activity space and office area. The design is similar to the suites that are currently on campus. Each floor will be able to house an estimate of 25 student residents.

The estimated time frame for construction to be completed is May 2025 and students will move in during fall 2025. The new buildings will add 30,000 square feet to housing space.

Floor plans of the new dorms presented at the ceremony in Northridge, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2023.

The new suites will help with the current demand of more housing at CSUN. In the fall there was an estimate of 2,000 students on the waiting list. The new housing will be able to provide a small group of students an opportunity.

“These new buildings, probably named after some trees, will help grow our resident life for around 200 new residents. This will support a new batch of leaders by giving them access to a place that we all so deeply cherish.” said President of Residence Hall Association, Christian Loza-Franco.

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