Three years and $73 million later, the Student Services Building (SSB) is finally open.
Designed to bring together the departments and services that were previously housed in the Classroom Laboratory and Administration Building (CLA), the new SSB effectively replaces the CLA Building.
PolyCentric, the university-sponsored news center, stated that the CLA Building will close down completely eventually, but the classroom side of the CLA Building will remain open for the time being.
The SSB is located next to the university library and in front of the University Plaza, formerly known as the Old Stables, and is divided into two wings.
To the east, there is the building’s main wing, which has a new information desk and houses a variety of offices in three floors, from Admissions & Enrollment Planning to Student Account & Cashiers. To the west, visitors can find Orientation Services, Alumni Affairs, Veterans Resource Center and Payroll Services, among others, spread out on two floors. Exact office locations in the SSB can be found on PolyCentric.
The campus community was invited to tour and become familiar with the new building the afternoon of Jan. 18. A ribbon cutting ceremony was also held earlier in the day.
Markedly different in its design compared to the CLA Building, the SSB features wide, airy corridors saturated with natural light and a landscaped inner courtyard.
Ashley Ly, senior curriculum specialist in the Office of Academic Programs, said she liked the fact that the new building is easier to navigate than the CLA Building.
“What I like about the new building is that it is open, clean and that we are able to get to our floor using the stairs versus having to wait for the elevators,” Ly said. “I can access the building from the side and up the stairs and straight to our office.”
Daniel Martinez, staff student assistant in the Orientation Department and second-year electrical engineering student, said he was happy the SSB is spacious, so the Orientation Department no longer has to share space with Outreach & Recruitment.
In the past, he said students and staff would get confused whether a person was visiting the office in the CLA Building for outreach or orientation.
“We’re not going to be colliding with other people,” Martinez said.
Martinez also agreed that the SSB is more accessible and easier to navigate than the CLA.
“I went to the other side, I checked it out and you know, they have a front desk which is perfect,” he said. “Everything looks open.”
The increase in space was a big win for Veterans Resource Center Coordinator Elke Azpeitia, who said she’s excited because students will have more room to study and relax.
“It’s more welcoming and conducive to a stress-free environment … we’re very excited to have this space,” she said. “It’s a blessing.”
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