Engineers of new science building present to students, faculty


Kim Swanson speaks during a presentation on the environmental impact of the upcoming additions to Siskiyou Hall. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

A town hall meeting was held to discuss the new physical science building this Wednesday.

The meeting consisted of a presentation from Kim Swanson, a representative from Smith’s Group and Joe Wennish, a mechanical engineer in charge of the mechanical system of the building.

More information on Siskiyou II was provided. “The existing physical science building was built in the early 60’s, it is not an energy efficient building… the existing Siskiyou building is even older… these are buildings that could use to be replaced,” said Swanson.

Joseph Wenisch answers a question concerning the impact of the new science building. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

The new building will cost $101 million. “The money is coming from a combination of campus contributions, the remainder comes from the state.. the reason why we’re getting this project is because Physical Science is such a bad building,” said Michael Guzzi, Facilities director.

In response to instructor Mark Stemen’s question of whether the building was taking seriously a focus on climate change, David Hassenzahl, Dean of Natural Sciences, said, “I don’t want our students to be terrified of climate change.”

David Hassenzahl, Dean of Natural Sciences discusses the implications of the new science building with concerned Chico State students and staff. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

“Because when you’re terrified it’s hard for you to constructively contribute to something better… to say that we don’t care about climate change, you know that’s not true,” Hassenzahl said.

“I don’t appreciate it being said that I don’t care about climate change because I can prove that I do from my life history,” he said.

There are two more meetings about this building and the university’s plan for campus sustainability this week. Check back for more updates.

Alejandra Fraga can be reached at [email protected] or @alifragster on Twitter.