A grand opening Tuesday celebrated the official launch of Sacramento State Downtown, a multipurpose hub that will host research, special events, classes and other programming.
Near the Capitol, the university’s newly established location at 304 S St. is an effort to cements “Sacramento State as California’s capital university,” according to the university website.
Activities at the site are already underway. On Monday, the first day of the fall semester for Sacramento State students, graduate students on track to become registered dietitians met up through their Dietetics Internship Program, and two Master of Public Policy and Administration classes were held.
University President Robert S. Nelsen has deemed the opening of the downtown venue as a signal of the school’s status as “an anchor university,” the opposite of an ivory tower, with a focus on community engagement.
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“It aims to connect its students, faculty, and staff with the community,” Nelsen said in an earlier news release. “And, in turn, help build and often heal that community, achieving long-term solutions and improvements.”
Speakers at the kick-off event Tuesday afternoon included both city and university officials. In addition to Nelsen, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty and others from the university and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council were in attendance.
The College of Continuing Education will also offer degree-completion and certification programs for mid-career professionals, and the Institute for Social Research will offer consulting services for public agencies and nonprofit organizations, the university announced.
The Community Engagement Center, fostering campus and community partnerships, will also have a presence at the facility.
Other centers at the hub include EdInsights, which is tasked with improving the practices of K-12 schools, community colleges and public universities; and the Project for an Informed Electorate, which aims to empower citizens through education.
For Sacramento State, establishing a downtown location has been a “long desired” goal.
“The facility’s opening comes at an opportune time as Sacramento and the region confront major challenges, such as homelessness, affordable housing, and achieving inclusive economic development,” Phil Garcia, vice president for Public Affairs and Advocacy, said last week.
In addition to this most recent collaborative project between Sacramento and CSUS, UC Davis is also hoping to expand its presence in the city with Aggie Square, a project spearheaded by Chancellor Gary S. May.
UC Davis’ planned technology and innovation campus recently secured state funding. According to earlier reports, the project is still several years away from completion.