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California State University, Chico's central campus to undergo renovation this summer

an apple orchard
an apple orchard
Jena Savage

This summer’s renovation of the western end of CSU, Chico’s central campus will connect the Student Services Center Plaza to pedestrian-only First Street, as well as the Meriam Library and Bell Memorial Student Union.

The plaza will receive new trees and outdoor seating, complete with umbrellas. New light fixtures and concrete tree planters will also be added, as will a brick entryway at First Street facing Warner Street. But perhaps the most interesting of the new additions will be the fruit trees along First Street, which will represent the orchard tended by Chico founder John Bidwell.

According to CSU, Chico News, the approximately $1.1 million for design and construction of the plaza and surrounding areas is the completion of the $46.8 million Student Services Center project. The building’s exterior and interior were completed in 2008, but the project’s final phase was suspended due to a 2009 freeze on disbursement of state General Obligation and Lease Revenue bonds used to fund CSU capital projects.

“The Student Services Center Plaza and First Street project will only add to our already beautiful and inviting campus,” said Vice President for Business and Finance Lorraine Hoffman. “With the addition of the Student Services Center, the western end of campus has become a main entry into Chico State. Increasing the use and attractiveness of the plaza and First Street area will be a very big part of this new campus gateway.”

Preliminary work on the project has already begun, and project completion is scheduled for August 13, 2010.