In Spring 2016, a proposal to completely renovate and expand the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) failed. Instead of giving up, Associate Students, Inc. (ASI) decided to reevaluate.
“We took all the feedback and comments we had received in [the 2016] referendum process and thought, ‘How can we make it more of a neighborhood versus two separate buildings?’” agricultural business senior and ASI Chair of UU Advisory Board Danielle Diele said.
This began the start of the UU Neighborhood Project.
ASI and Cal Poly Corporation are partnering to create a similar look and feel amongst the buildings and outdoor area in the UU. They hired architect firm Pfeiffer Partners to develop a complementary design for each space.
“This project by ASI, every design and decision, is run through University Union Advisory Board before it’s acted upon, which consists of one student representative from every college,” Diele said. “Students have been a part of it every step of the way.”
ASI’s part in the UU Neighborhood renovations
The first phase of the UU Neighborhood Project is expected to start in Summer 2019. This includes renovating the alleyway, the outside space between the University Store and the ATMs, and the space outside of Mustang Station.
Diele said the goal of this phase is to add additional space for students to study, socialize and relax. ASI wants to incorporate new lighting, more power outlets, seating, heaters and a built-in counter.
“This way even if it’s nighttime, students can want to be out there because that space and resources are available,” Diele said.
The first phase renovations are anticipated to be completed in September 2019 before the start of Fall 2020 and will cost $475,000. These renovations are funded by UU reserves in the UU budget, so student fees will not increase for the renovation.
Chumash Auditorium renovation
The second phase of the project includes renovating the interior and exterior of Chumash Auditorium on the second floor of the UU. This includes not only the inside of the auditorium but also the surrounding lounge area, including the T.V. lounge and the Chandler lounge.
Diele said ASI hopes to enhance its lighting, flooring, staging, sound proofing and technology functions along with updating the lounge space outside the auditorium.
Chumash Auditorium will close in October 2019 with renovations lasting between six to eight months, according to Diele. ASI is hoping to have the space finished by April 2020, but they will not be taking reservations until June 2020.
“We aren’t taking reservations yet so we don’t disappoint anyone, but if it is done in April then we’ll start taking reservations through the end of the year,” Diele said.
The project is estimated to cost $5 million, which will also be funded by UU reserves.
“Through essentially best practices for business, we’ve been conservative with our spending, so that we can fund projects like this,” Diele said.
During the renovations of Chumash Auditorium, the Multi-Activity Center (MAC) in the Recreation Center will be open as a full-time event space for clubs and other groups on campus to use.
Part of the UU Neighborhood Project may also include some changes to the UU space between Starbucks and the new Multicultural Center. There is no set design or start date, but ASI’s long term plan is to repurpose the area as an inviting study space for students.
UU Plaza renovation
The last phase includes renovating the UU Plaza. These plans will begin after the approval of Dining Complex (building 19) designs.
Cal Poly Corporation UU Neighborhood renovations
Building 19 renovation
Building 19 renovations are headed by Cal Poly Corporation. Currently, this building houses The Avenue, 805 Kitchen and Myron’s — campus’ primary food service and production facility.
Renovations include two modernized food halls with more food options, a market place and a new, fast, casual sit-down restaurant. Cal Poly Corporation is working to finalize the design plans sometime between October and November 2019. Construction is dependent upon the completion of Vista Grande along with the approval of the design plans, according to Cal Poly Corporation communications specialist Aaron Lambert.
University Union Starbucks renovation
Beginning in Summer 2019, Starbucks will undergo renovations to modernize the space and improve wait times and the overall customer experience.
Mustang Station patio renovation
The final addition includes a project that will revamp Mustang Station’s current outdoor area with more seating, tables, a four-plex video screen and a fireplace.
According to Cal Poly Corporation communications specialist Aaron Lambert, the total project budget is $26.8 million — $16 million will come from Cal Poly Corporation facilities reserves and the rest will be funded through system-wide revenue bonds and partnership with ASI. Student fees will not be affected by these renovations.