More places to take a seat

Nick Lowrey

SDSU plans to build benches in-house to save money and allow more seating.

Campus will soon be a more comfortable place to hang out. This winter, the SDSU Facilities and Services Department will build new benches to be installed along campus walkways. The benches will be part of SDSU’s transformation into a walking campus.

The Campus Planning and Design Committee requested benches be placed in campus green space during the previous school year. James Weiss, SDSU’s building maintenance coordinator, said the benches should be built on campus to help keep costs down and to give SDSU more options. His plan called for  benches to be made in-house by Facilities and Services welder Curtis Lee.

Dean Kattelman, the assistant vice president for Facilities and Services, presented the idea to the committee. Once the benefits were determined, the committee approved Weiss’s plan.

“We’ve reached the saturation point with bike racks, so now we’re going to switch to benches,” said Weiss.

The committee is comprised of students, faculty and administration personnel, and it helps the university make decisions about the way campus should look. With SDSU shifting to a walking campus, the committee decided benches were needed.

Dan Vellek, a student association senator and member of the committee, said, ”We have a bunch of green space that nobody uses, they just walk from class to class, we’re trying to make a more inviting campus … one way of trying to get people to stop is to place benches.”

The benches were designed and will be built by SDSU Facilities and Services, at roughly half the cost of buying pre-made benches. Another advantage of building the benches on campus is versatility.

“There’s a style without a back rest, we can build tables and different departments can order different colors and styles,” said Weiss.

The committee chose a pale grey instead of Jackrabbit blue as the standard color for the benches. According to Weiss, the grey doesn’t show dirt as much as blue would, so the benches will appear cleaner.

“The committee chose the color but we can take special orders,” said Weiss.

Weiss doesn’t have a firm number of how many benches will be made. He said that they could turn out as many as two in a week, depending on Lee’s workload. Facilities and Services has been building bike racks for several years and will likely do the same for the benches.

“We use them as a filler when we don’t have enough general work,” Weiss said, “We’ll start with replacing old benches and then build them on an as-needed basis.”