CSU Board of Trustees approve new building project, awaiting state approval


Photo by Valeria Serna

The CSU Board of Trustees approved the university’s plan for a new science building.

Nijat Mamtimen, Staff Writer

Following the announcement of plans for a new science and engineering building in late September, the California State University Board of Trustees has green-lit the new project. 

California State University of San Marcos plans to build a science and engineering complex in 2024, investing approximately $60 million into this new construction project; but is awaiting approval from the state Legislature. 

The plans for the new science building call for a two-wing building, but the university might plan on expanding the wings and are trying to raise $20 million for the project. 

According to the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Building Feasibility Study (BNIM), the total new buildings’ land occupation is 80,000 square feet and the construction project includes programs like higher education, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and science study.

The reason to expand the science and engineering complex, according to BNIM, was that the university had far exceeded growth projections. More specifically, the College of Science and Mathematics has experienced an increase in students. 

“Prompted by existing space constraints and deficits, a need to provide space for a new engineering department, and accommodate future college growth, the University engaged BNIM to develop a feasibility study for a new 110,000 grows area feet (GAF) academic building,” according to the BNIM website. 

The College of Science and Mathematics adapted a developed program and Zero Net Energy concept design, combining computer science, physics and engineering departments, along with many classrooms, study spaces and office spaces.

The purpose of erecting the science and engineering complex for BNIM at CSUSM was “… [to] support innovative learning and research on campus; and allow for a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and professional culture.”

In an article by the San Diego Union Tribune, CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt said, “[the new science construction] could take us to an entirely different level in the next phase of who we are.” 

“This will enable us to build out engineering, which has been full since we offered our first programs (in 2018),” said Neufeldt. 

In the past few years, the College of Science and Mathematics has expanded with the addition of new buildings and program expansions. According to the Union Tribune, there has been a push to expand on developing software engineering programs at CSUSM since 2016. 

ViaSat, a global communications company, contributed $1.5 million in 2018 to establish an engineering program for the CSUSM campus. ViaSat has offered internship opportunities for the enrolled students and provided frequent expert lectures on campus regarding cyber security and other STEM related jobs.

Simon Kuo, vice president of corporate quality at ViaSat, said that the engineering program has functioned like a microscope to discover students interested in science and engineering. The participating students obtain high professional quality, and they can work for electronic engineers, recycling or energy fields in the company. 

Donations from companies like Viasat to CSUSM  have helped the university renovate classroom and lab space, the purchasing of new equipment and instrumentation and support the work done by students and faculty.  

Moreover, “The pavilion is ViaSat has been a longtime supporter of numerous programs across CSUSM, and the company has been an especially strong supporter of the university’s College of Science and Mathematics.” 

There are no details on where the building will eventually be built at CSUSM.