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Tram Nguyen
Special to Mustang News

A pub and a movie theater are among the top 10 recommendations for improvement of the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) made by students, faculty and staff through an April survey of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Facility Master Plan.

The survey was conducted to measure students’ satisfaction with ASI-managed facilities, including the UU, Recreation Center, Sports Complex and Children’s Center. Of 4,459 respondents, there were 3,717 students. The survey results showed that students are least happy with the UU.

Below are the top 10 recommendations for improvement:

  • Campus pub
  • Dining options with a modern, neighborhood experience
  • Club work area and storage space
  • Additional lounges and study areas
  • Indoor and outdoor (shaded) dining
  • Group work space with modern technology
  • Renovation of Chumash Auditorium
  • Additional conference and meeting rooms
  • Movie theater
  • Connect UU to the campus core

ASI will conduct another survey in January, asking focus groups to describe in detail how they want the changes to be made, and where and what size the new venues should be. Students will also be asked to prioritize the projects — which ones students are more willing to pay for.

“I just really, really think that the students need to know that this is probably one of the biggest projects that Cal Poly will be doing in a very, very long time,” said Brady Hiob, chair of the UU. “This is Cal Poly’s opportunity to say what Cal Poly is.”

Lined up against a wall of Hiob’s office are pictures of the prospective UU — though they shouldn’t be taken literally, he said, they represent the feel of the renovations. They are going for a more transparent look with large glass windows.

Details of the projects will not be solidified until May 2015, which means the implementation of them won’t take place until the next school year. Hiob said it will take approximately four years to complete the master plan.

While it is up to the next survey which ones of the 10 projects will be conducted first, Hiob said students showed a strong interest in a pub.

Hiob said he can imagine a 200-300-seat movie theater.

“I think a movie theater can combine a lot of extracurriculars, which ASI is definitely big on,” Hiob said, “and it also can combine that with academic space. And students said loud and clear that they want a lot more academic space in the UU, so that’s a perfect opportunity to mix the two of them.”

The prospective expansion of the UU complies with Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s vision of increasing enrollment to 25,000 students in the next 10 years. The UU may need an additional 100,000 square feet, Hiob said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the reporter’s name.

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