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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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CSUEB: Renovation Before Innovation

A broken down classroom in Meiklejohn Hall room 2100

With the completion of an initial program for the proposed STEM building, renovation projects may be in danger of being swept aside in all the excitement.

If that does occur, many students will be left to wallow in classrooms distinctly in need of improvement for a number of reasons, ranging from energy efficiency needs to the learning environment.

The administration already has set a goal to achieve 30 percent energy savings on existing buildings by 2030 through retrofitting of 80 percent of such buildings on campus to help save money on energy expenses.

Yet, in the meantime, that leaves many of us to never benefit from the improvements sorely needed in classrooms, for more reasons than energy efficiency.

There is nothing worse than being stuck in classroom with substantial comfort issues. It is not uncommon to find yourself in a classroom with an incessant buzzing noise, temperature control issues (ever try to adjust one of the thermostats?), loose ceiling tiles, water damage and even the occasional rodent.

Without a doubt, it is more difficult to learn in an uncomfortable environment.

While there have been a number of substantial changes made to existing buildings, such as new natural gas boilers for Meiklejohn and other buildings, more efficient lighting, and building control upgrades, many of the classrooms could use further improvement that can come with the energy efficiency upgrades.

There are plenty of things that make a great university; an administration that is in tune with the student body, an educated faculty, dedicated students, and a comfortable learning environment. CSU East Bay arguably has all the components, but it could definitely use a facelift as far as the classrooms are concerned.

Imagine what it will look like to have the brand new state-of-the-art STEM building juxtaposed with the Arts & Education building. The shabby A&E classrooms will look even worse despite whatever their levels of functionality.

The administration needs to ensure that some of the funding goes towards more classroom improvements and not forget about it in the rush to improve campus credibility with a building like the one proposed.

Regardless, what is good for the university is generally good for student’s degrees, especially as the proposed STEM building will vastly increase the prestige of the campus if the administration’s goals are successfully reached.

In short, bigger tangible results in the existing buildings are needed before ground ever breaks on the proposed STEM building.

According to Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The school is that last expenditure upon which Americans should be willing to economize.” With that in mind, we must make classrooms efficient in both energy and comfort.

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California State University East Bay
CSUEB: Renovation Before Innovation