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Chico State breaks ground on new science building

Students and faculty at Chico State University break ground on the new physical sciences building.

Chico State University broke ground Wednesday for their new Physical Sciences building slated to open in the fall of 2020.

Faculty, staff, students and members of the community gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking event.

Officials at the university say the state-of-the-art $101 million facility will help advance Chico State's role as a leader within the Northstate and across the 23-campus CSU system.

The 110,200-square-foot building will include space for chemistry, physics, geological science, and science education labs, as well as active-learning classrooms, synergy between interior learning spaces and outdoor classrooms, graduate research studios, a dean’s suite, dozens of faculty offices, and administrative and support areas.

The building is also designed to encourage science participation beyond the University’s faculty, staff and students. The new building with host a hands-on learning classroom dedicated to Kindergarten through 12th grade field trips in the Northstate.

“Through a hands-on laboratory for K-12 students and science on-display features, the building will be a resource for the whole community,” said David Hassenzahl, the Dean of Natural Sciences.

The new building will also support work made possible by Chico State’s recent $4.2 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Hispanic-Serving Institution STEM grant supports agriculture, natural sciences, and engineering, computer science and construction management students who identify as low-income, first generation or Hispanic.

The university currently hosts field trips in their Physical Sciences building in their hands-on learning classroom on the second floor of the Physical Sciences building. They say the new building will have a larger space and more activities for the students to participate in.

The building is primarily financed by the CSU system wide revenue bond program, with a small contribution from campus-designated capital reserves. It will replace all functions located in the current Physical Science Building behind Ayres Hall, allowing those spaces to be renovated and re-purposed in future projects.

The event was hosted on the Glenn Lawn a few steps away from the existing construction site just east of Langdon Hall, north of Meriam Library and south of Big Chico Creek, where Siskiyou Hall once stood.

It will be under construction until the fall of 2020.

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