Students Arrive to a Campus in Progress

    After a summer dedicated to both expanding UCSD’s existing facilities
    and constructing new ones, a total of 27,500 students — including 4,100
    freshmen and 1,650 new transfer students — will arrive Sept. 27 to test
    the limits of the already cluttered campus.
    In John Muir College, 452 out of 585 housed students will be living in
    a triple room, a fact that was met with mixed reactions by students.
    “I was originally on the waiting list, so I was pretty happy about
    being put anywhere [even in a triple],” Muir freshman Michelle Sorochan
    said. “I’ve had my own room my entire life, so I’m not used to cramped
    spaces, and sharing a bathroom will probably be inconvenient. But I am
    an only child so I want to be around as many people as possible.”
    Muir sophomore Jeremy Gabriel, who signed up for a double last year but
    was assigned a triple due to an influx of freshmen, said that rooming
    with two students in a triple was not as bad as he thought.
    “When I first realized that I had two roommates, I was annoyed,”
    Gabriel said. “I went [online] to see if I was the only one, but
    apparently every other person had two roommates too, so I didn’t feel
    so bad. I think my biggest worry was privacy and space. Turns out, it
    wasn’t so bad.”
    Much like the undergraduate dorms, new graduate housing facilities is
    also in popular demand, with the 800 new beds completely filled and a
    waitlist of about 900 graduate students, according to Housing and
    Dining Services Director Mark P. Cunningham.
    Overall, UCSD houses just over 10,100 students, which is approximately 37 percent of the campus’ student population.
    Students and staff on campus during the summer may have noticed that
    construction has impaired access to some areas, particularly in the
    cramped Student Center.
    According to University Centers Director Paul Terzino, access through
    Student Center has been cut off since the middle of June in order to
    accommodate construction to create a courtyard. He said he hopes to
    offer limited access during Welcome Week so students can pass through
    the new central plaza.
    Terzino said that the first stage of the Student Center facelift is
    complete, which includes the renovation of the General Store Co-op,
    A.S. Soft Reserves, A.S. Lecture Notes, the UCSD Bike Shop, the Food
    Co-op, KSDT Radio, Student-Run Television — which will be ready in a
    few weeks — and two unisex bathrooms on the second floor.
    The second stage involves the creation of the central plaza, the
    renovation of the General Store’s old site to create a permanent space
    for Groundwork Books and creation of additional indoor seating at the
    Grove Caffe. The second phase is nearing completion and should be
    finished by October, Terzino said. Additionally, this stage includes
    the renovation of the UCSD Craft Center classroom and the area between
    the grassy “hump” and Student Center.
    Terzino said the job should be completed during Winter Quarter as part
    of its final, and shortest, stage, which involves utility work along
    the breezeway running from the Food Co-op to the parking lot as well as
    final landscaping and cleaning.
    The goal for the completion of the much-anticipated Price Center
    expansion is also winter quarter, although there is no definitive date
    set, he said.
    “With such a large-scale construction project, it is very hard to pin
    down an exact date until you’re within a month or two of completion,”
    Terzino said.
    Although the project itself is not yet complete, many construction
    sites have already finished, including the new ATM pavilion and
    repaving of adjacent Mandeville Walk. Such changes will allow students
    better access to Price Center, the UCSD bookstore addition and Perks,
    the new coffee shop located inside the bookstore.
    Price Center Expansion Project Manager Jay Smith said that construction
    delays usually happen on a weekly basis for comparably large building
    projects, but having a good team of architects and designers has helped
    to resolve any problems.
    “[Our construction team is doing] an outstanding job of keeping the
    project on track, schedule-wise, and helping to solve any big
    problems,” he said. “I would say that the university’s vision of the
    project has actually not only been maintained, but also improved
    through everyone’s efforts during construction.”
    The Stuart Collection is adding a large mural art piece to Price
    Center’s central atrium, and the Student Affairs Office is also working
    on a “Triton Sculpture” to add as a campus mascot near the grand stairs.
    Smith also said that the university events and Student Affairs offices
    are working on adding an intimate music venue similar to a restaurant
    or nightclub. The space will be outfitted by some of the people who
    have created the hippest restaurant interiors in town, he added.
    Although no major obstacles have occurred amid construction to hinder
    the project, Smith said that the biggest problem — industry inflation
    that forced them to limit the expansion of the Price Center ­— that
    happened at the very beginning. However, he said that things have gone
    much more smoothly since then.

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