The original scope of the University Union Plaza expansion has been completed, said Lorin Torbitt chair of the University Union Advisory Board, but construction continues on an additional expansion approved in February.
The cost of the original project came in at $3.1 million; the new expansion is expected to cost an additional $400,000, Torbitt said. The proposal approved by the University Union Advisory Board on Feb. 2 says the expansion is not to exceed $500,000. The original budget for the plaza project was $4.5 million; the actual cost of $3.1 million was significantly under budget. Torbitt said the project came in so far under budget because of a drop in construction price due to the economic downturn.
Torbitt said the state approached the UUAB about doing the additional expansion, which will offer more grassy seating areas for students to utilize.
“The offer happened at a good time because of the closure of South Perimeter,” she said.
The closure made it possible for construction to be expanded out where the street used to be. South Perimeter was closed in conjunction with the beginning of construction of the UU Plaza. However, it was never intended to be reopened because of the university’s plan to make Cal Poly a more pedestrian-friendly campus.
A common misconception that has surrounded the UU Plaza expansion is the money spent on it could have been used to lower student fees or retain lecturers. The money used for the expansion came from the Associated Students, Incorporated reserve fund and can only be used for construction and repairs of ASI managed buildings.
Construction should be completed by commencement, Torbitt said.