Sacramento State Union to get $53 million renovation and expansion

Construction of new dorm at Sacramento State University, July 19, 2016
Construction of new dorm at Sacramento State University, July 19, 2016 Sacramento Bee

Sacramento State will spend $53 million to renovate and expand its University Union, university officials announced Tuesday.

Construction on the project, which will add 42,000 square feet to the 183,000 square-foot building, will mean more conference rooms, retail, a Starbucks, study lounges and additional indoor and outdoor seating, said Bill Olmsted associate executive director of Union Well Inc., a campus non-profit that operates the building.

“We have been talking about the expansion of this building for the better part of the last three years,” Olmsted said. “As the campus hit a 30,000 head count last fall, a building like this really sees that. We have 18,000 to 22,000 students pass through our doors every day.”

Olmsted said the expansion will increase the number of meeting rooms to accommodate student and community groups that had to compete for the limited space.

“Really across campus, there is no room at the inn,” he said. “We’ve had to turn clubs down.”

Student groups will be given additional office space and the student food pantry will be moved into the newly renovated University Union.

The project will be paid for with student fees, reserves from Union Well Inc. and other generated income, according to university officials.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2017 and to be completed by August 2018.

The University Union expansion is part of a major plan to overhaul the Sacramento State campus over the next 20 years. The plan calls for 1.3 million square feet of new construction that includes student and faculty housing, a performing arts center, a student events center and additional parking structures, as well as new science and engineering buildings. It would cost $3.7 billion in today’s dollars, university officials said last year.

As work begins on the University Union expansion, campus officials plan to break ground on an 1,800-space parking structure for the north end of campus next summer.

In addition, the University has plans to expand The WELL, the campus health and fitness center.

A 416-bed residence hall overlooking the river is currently under construction in the North Housing Village and is slated to open in Fall, 2017.


1,700 students, including 1,100 freshmen move into dorms on annual Move In Day.

Autonomous car from Varden Labs gets a test drive on the Sacramento State campus on March 14, 2016.

Sacramento State Master Plan

Five years

* Riverfront dorm: A four-story residence hall with 416 beds for freshmen and sophomores is expected to be the next addition to North Housing Village. The 126,000-square-foot building will cost $54.9 million and will be funded through housing fees charged to students residing on campus. The dorm will have views of the American River.

* Science building: Would be built on a parking lot along the American River, just north of the student bookstore, with modern classrooms, laboratories and amenities. The building would be state-funded.

10 years

* Engineering building: Would house the engineering and computer sciences departments. The building would replace Humboldt Hall, which would be demolished once all the programs are relocated to the new building, which would be state-funded.

* Performing arts center: The new performance space would house a theater, stage, storage, classrooms and practice rooms. It would be state-funded.

* Children's center: A larger child care center would be situated just south of the Alumni Center, on the south side of the campus. The existing center would be demolished.

* Student events center: The venue would offer space for athletic competitions, concerts and graduations, among other events. It would have a 6,000-seat arena, offices, retail areas, locker rooms, storage and dining facilities.

15 years

* Administration and student services: The new building would consolidate the two departments. It would serve as a clearly defined north entry and improve the campus' "front door," according to the master plan.

* Faculty housing: A new housing project called South Housing Village would offer apartments for faculty, staff and graduate students. The village would consist mostly of two-bedroom apartments.

* Hornet Stadium: Permanent seating would replace the bleachers at the stadium and retail space would be added.

20 years

* Student housing: Four additional dorms housing a total of 1,200 students in the South Housing Village. These are expected to be two-bedroom apartments with a new parking structure.

- Sacramento State