Exchange structure to get arbor-themed update

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The Exchange, located between Jacaranda Hall and Juniper Hall, will be rebuilt to improve its food and merchant services for students and faculty in fall 2007.

“The incentive is to provide (the) campus with another meet and greet space,” said Dave Nirenberg, director of commercial service for The University Corporation.

The building will be about 4,200 square feet and will be designed with extensive glass and a high, open ceiling, and will feature external seating.

“The schedule to start construction is immediately after commencement in June next year. And (it will open) in (the) fall of ’07,” said Nirenberg. “It won’t open in this academic year. But we already have the plans for right now.”

The group in charge of the creation of the new building is in the first phase of design and development.

“It’s going to be built virtually on top of the existent structure,” he said. “We want it to be a northern campus place where people can go and have a pleasant breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

There will be outdoor seating for 250 people, and an arbor-style area will provide shaded seating. Currently, there are about 60 seats outside the Exchange.

The Exchange will also have misting systems, similar to those installed in the patio area behind the Matador Bookstore Complex.

“We have (mist systems) there. So (when) there will be really hot days, it will be cooler,” Nirenberg said.

The Exchange, currently, has snacks, pizza, Mexican food, which was introduced this semester, and sells school supplies and convenience store items.

The new building will include several shops, along with the more popular, grab-and-go items.

Plans are underway for the forth Freudian Sip coffeehouse on campus to open at the proposed new Exchange building.

“We are (going to) have some other expanded food sections,” said Nirenberg. “We’re concerned about some healthy food options.”

When construction begins on the new building, the old Exchange trailer will be relocated to a new spot on the south side of Jacaranda Walk toward the Oviatt library.

“After the earthquake that was where the trailers were, so we’re going to put (them) back there temporarily,” Nirenberg said. “We just can’t operate forever in the trailers. The trailer is going to outlive its useful life (in) the next couple of years.”

The University Corporation will pay for the building costs from their reserve funds.

TUC has posted signs on campus that describe the new building plans.

TUC also discussed the Exchange building proposals with President Jolene Koester, and some professors and deans from the Engineering and Computer Science department and the Business and Economics department –– the departments are across from the Exchange –– to get feedback about the new plans.

“I know they brought Architecture (plans) to look at what we have now and give (us) an idea (about) what they wanted to do with it,” said Teri Bott, manager of the Exchange. “They did some of (the) things that I thought – would be (a) good idea.”

“We’re looking (forward to) next summer. We should hopefully be starting construction on the new building,” she added.

Since the new cafe will open in the 2006-07 academic year, the Exchange will attract some new students.

Alejandra Ahumada, urban studies major, and Joanna Terrazas, pre-accounting major, both freshmen, said they would consider shopping at the new Exchange if it offered healthy food alternatives.

“I want to have some good coffee and eat healthy stuff,” said Ahumada.

“Like real food,” said Terrazas.

Aya Oikawa can be reached at city@sundial.csun.edu.