An aerial view of Cal State San Marcos. Photo via CSUSM Housing Facebook
CSU San Marcos leaders Monday revealed details on their plans to build an affordable housing and dining facility on campus with the intent to reduce overall costs for students.
The University Village Student Success Housing and Dining Project will consist of a 205,200-square-foot student housing community with space for 600 residents and a 19,481-square-foot dining hall with seating for 320.
CSUSM administrators have tentatively scheduled the groundbreaking for February 2024.
“We’re excited to bring forward a transformative project that will set a new standard for affordable student residential living, representing a significant step in addressing student basic needs and helping our students of all backgrounds thrive academically and personally,” CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt said. “Student housing is an integral part of the student experience, and it can have a profound impact on academic and lifelong success.”
“This project will ensure that more future CSUSM students will have that opportunity — a key component of our institutional mission of student success,” she said.
The project will be funded in part by $91 million that CSUSM is receiving from Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature in their $300 billion budget for 2022-23. Of the $497 million being allocated for student housing projects on nine California State University campuses, CSUSM is being given the second-highest amount.
Prior to this year, the university’s housing capacity was 1,547, less than 10% of the university’s student population. The UVSS project follows several other housing and dining options that opened or are scheduled to open this year; North Commons opened for the start of the fall semester on Monday and houses 332 students in the North City development across from CSUSM. Also in North City is Campus Way Cafe, an 8,000-square-foot dining hall that will open in September.
When UVSS is completed, the university’s housing capacity will increase to more than 15% of the student population.
“Students should never have to decide between paying for rent or school supplies, or decide which utilities or basic needs they can live without while pursuing their dreams of becoming a teacher, nurse, scientist or entrepreneur,” said Jason Schreiber, CSUSM’s dean of students. “This new project will result in a clear public benefit, providing low-cost student housing and reduced rents so that students can focus their attention where it matters: their hopes and dreams for the future.”
According to a university statement, CSUSM will make a commitment to offering available housing at UVSS to low-income students. A recent institutional demand study revealed an ongoing demand of 571 beds based on current enrollment and projected demand of 868 beds based on an increased enrollment of 20,000 students.
City News Service contributed to this article.