Ideas abound for Northwest Neighborhood


Editorial Board

Issue: The northwest side of campus redesign is a work in progress.

The northwest side of campus is under discussion for a redesign by administration. We at The Collegian think there are a few ups and downs of the new plan. The proposal needs more research before action is taken.

The first priority of the plan should be the campus signage and grand gateway entrance that has been discussed. The possible gateways to campus would help define SDSU’s boundaries.

We believe that Medary Avenue, the road near the Performing Arts Center and possibly the road near McDonald’s, close to Binnewies Hall, would be good places for grand entrances. The new gateways would provide a campus feeling that would allow visitors to know when they are entering the campus.

The second priority on the northwest campus redesign would be the new apartments for upperclassmen and graduate students that SDSU is considering building. We are excited about the opportunity to have more on-campus apartments with a possible nine-month lease, like at Berg and Bailey halls. Payments for the apartments would probably be similar to paying for residence halls, meaning students could use part of student loans to pay for them and would pay up-front when they pay tuition.

The new apartments have potential prices set at almost double what it would cost to live in most off-campus apartments. For a four-person apartment, it would cost $535 a month per person (including utilities) and a two-person would be $642 a month (including utilities) per person.

Currently, there is not as much of a housing shortage for students as there has been in the past. There is a 5 percent vacancy rate in rental properties. In future years, as SDSU grows in enrollment, the housing vacancy rates should go down, creating more of a demand for the potential on-campus apartment building.

The third priority on the northwest campus redesign plan would be the potential hotel and conference center. We see the merits in having this option on campus, and it would create potential jobs. In addition, a hotel near campus would be convenient for parents who come to visit their kids who are enrolled at SDSU and living in the residence halls. Students who are hospitality and hotel management majors could also provide input and help with the design of the hotel.

This hotel and conference center is definitely not the most important thing on the redesign plan, but it would be a good idea in the future.

The last aspect of the redesign plan, which we see as the least necessary is the active adult community. This is basically an assisted living center that older individuals and alumni could live in.

Having alumni near campus could raise the fundraising and donation numbers the SDSU Foundation receives. We also see the potential for nursing and pharmacy students to work or volunteer there.

In reality, we do not see it as a project that is mandatory for campus and does not quite fit with the other proposals in the plan. This is a project that could wait until other construction sites on campus are completed.

Overall, the redesign plan has the potential to be beneficial, but as campus officials have said, it should definitely be discussed and tweaked before SDSU starts construction.

Stance: SDSU administration needs to proceed with more research on the topic before taking action.