Chico State Master Plan looks to future campus projects


Faculty and students discuss differences between two different master plan draft alternatives at an open house meeting Monday. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

Based on community feedback and requests, several new projects have been planned for Chico State in the next 10 years. These projects cover everything from first-year student living, space for more outdoor recreation and a bikeway running through campus.

Students and faculty stood over illustrative maps of the campus that showed plans for upcoming changes of the next decade. They placed green and stickers on ideas they either agreed with or disagreed with respectively at a Monday open house meeting to discuss the upcoming update to the campus master plan. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

An open house was held on Monday and provided a space for members of the community as well as students and faculty to give their input on the future campus. The open house was put on by SmithGroup, a firm that primarily works with building and renovating campuses and who is currently in charge of construction for the new science building, who presented two different master plan alternatives.

The biggest project that was suggested was a new arena by the Yolo Fields that would seat 4,000. The proposed plans would also add more fields and a tennis court. Out of two different plans presented there was a pool design suggested in one.

Another of the projects that were discussed was the acquisition of housing. Between the two plans, the estimate of new housing would give 1,600 to 1,800 more freshman a place to stay on campus. This would also include the renovation of the existing buildings.

One of the more popular topics was talk about a bikeway on campus. Currently, biking is not allowed on campus and there’s no place to ride. Students had been complaining about how the bike racks on the edges — where they are allowed to bike — were more likely to be stolen, yet walking bikes to the middle of the campus and safer bike racks seemed silly.

After a brief presentation at the master plan open house on Monday, attendees were given green and red dot stickers to point out parts of the plan the agreed with (green) and parts they disagreed with (red). Here we see both clusters of red and green with sticky notes explaining the reasoning. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

The proposed plan would implement new bikeways around campus that would allow easier access to bike racks inside the campus. This would also encourage students to use bikes which would reduce carbon emissions.

Nicholas Chicoine and Patrick O’Leary were both excited to hear about the inclusion of the bikeway. Both are majoring in sustainable manufacturing and are key members in the Green Campus Club for Chico State. They are eager to see the plan for the bikeway be implemented on campus.

“I think we need to encourage students to be using a bike more,” Chicoine said. “It’s an easy and fun way to reduce the amount of carbon emissions.”

Chicoine said he had been talking to the school about parking passes. He would like to see parking permit prices be in relation to where you live from campus — encouraging those that live close to campus to walk or bike instead of driving to school. This would help reduce carbon emissions and free up parking as well.

John Perry, the primary speaker of the open house from Smith Group, noted that the plan to put a bikeway through campus was almost universally agreed to be a positive addition to the campus.

John Perry with SmithGroup, the design firm in charge of making the campus master plan, explains ideas for campus improvements gathered from feedback from students and faculty at a Monday open house meeting. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

Perry spoke on his thoughts about the open house and how he was pleasantly surprised.

“I believe it was a positive experience. We had a great turnout and have gotten feedback. We are excited to get started on these ideas,” Perry said.

If you would like to participate or share an idea with the formation of these projects go to the Master Plan website and submit your idea.

Nate Rettinger can be reached at [email protected] or @NRettinger19 on Twitter.