Just after Winter Break, several on-campus entities – some of which are currently relegated to WWII-era barracks – will be moving into their new headquarters in the Student Resource Building, scheduled to open in February.
According to Associate Dean of Students Carolyn Buford, construction of the state-of-the-art Student Resource Building – located adjacent to the Pardall Road bike tunnel – is nearing completion. The building, which was approved by students in a 2001 campus referendum, will not only be the new home of several academic departments and campus organizations but will make a variety of new services and utilities available to the groups’ students and staff.
The building was created in part as a response to the growing need to replace several deteriorated facilities – some of which are former WWII-era army barracks, originally constructed when the university’s location housed a military base.
“This building was created to house the student communities,” Buford said. “[This was done by] students who were concerned that these student services were in barracks. … Students took the leadership on this project.”
Groups that will be relocating during Winter Quarter include Campus Learning Assistance Services, the Women’s Center, the Office of Student Life, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and the Educational Opportunity Program. A subgroup of the Orfalea Family Children’s Center will also be moving in.
Buford said the aesthetics of the building were inspired by “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend,” an art exhibition featuring colorful quilts hand-made by women in the rural community of Gee’s Bend, Ala.
Bill McTague, director of resource planning of student affairs, said the new structure cost between $25 and 30 million to construct and complete – including furnishing the interior and installing and networking computers for the building.
McTague said the structure will be paid for by student fees over the course of about 30 years – amounting to $33.33 per student per quarter.
Though administrators originally planned for the SRB to be fully operational in early 2006, McTague said construction for the building was delayed “because of the high cost of construction” that was realized after bids to erect the structure were coming back over budget.
Following a model for campus projects funded by student lock-in fees – established a few years ago when the university developed plans to construct the UCen and the Rec Cen – a Student Governance Board has been established to oversee the SRB after it is completed. According to Buford, the Board will help decide how and by whom the building will be used when it opens and in the future.
Buford said because students are paying for the SRB, the Board is necessary to ensure the building is serving student needs.
Kelsey South, a member of the Student Governance Board, said the various resources that will be available in the building were created specifically to benefit a particular audience at UCSB.
“We’re making sure it serves its purpose of serving the student,” South, a fourth-year political science and education major, said. “It will be open later [at night] and will have classrooms, a computer lab, a kitchen and places for student groups to put on performances. We want this to be a safe place for students.”
Lupe Garcia, acting director for CLAS, said after the organization moves its headquarters from its current location behind the Women’s Center to the SRB, it will have six classrooms and two study skills workshop rooms. Garcia said CLAS will continue to offer students all of the labs and educational services it currently provides when it relocates.
Garcia said CLAS is looking forward to all the amenities its new location will provide its staff and patrons.
“We will be maintaining our current services, and of course we hope to grow,” Garcia said. “We’ll be in the south portion of the third floor… with a beautiful ocean view and a terrace that will let us keep the indoor/outdoor space that students really enjoy.”