With the plunge of a nine gold shovels, a new era in student services at Cal State Long Beach got underway Friday with the proposed creation of the Student Success Center.
The center, which will consolidate multiple campus organizations, will be located in renovated Peterson Hall 2. Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony kicked off construction, expected to begin next week, and will be completed in Spring 2019.
“We were talking about it (Student Success Center) in 2014 when I arrived and now here it is in 2017 and it’s really happening,” President Jane Close Conoley said. “I think this will be one more really powerful effort that will result in more students finding the services they need, number one, and allow them to fully complete the excellent education they get here.”
The center will become the new home for Disabled Student Services, along with academic labs and studio spaces for various programs. It also will have a student lounge on the second floor, an outdoor seating area and WiFi.
“The outside of the building will look better (than it does) and inside will have a 21st century design and equipment for all students,” Conoley said. “It will be a one-stop place for all the assistance they (students) need.”
Conoley said in order for the Student Success Center to become reality CSULB needed partners, such as late provost, David Dowell, the brainchild of the project, and alum Bob Murphy and his family. Murphy graduated from CSULB in 1962 and partnered with the university with the Bridge Project, which raises awareness and increases the number of students with disabilities who attend college by providing opportunities.
“My family and I are very proud to be associated with this building,” Murphy said. “The Student Success Center is a testament that this university cares, that this university cares about all students no matter what physical, no matter what mental challenges they might have. (They know) they have whatever help they might need to be successful.”
The building will be seismically safe and ADA compliant, and constructed to achieve US Green Building Council’s prestigious LEED Gold certification for its sustainable design elements.