400 prieta

Where Were You on Oct. 17, 1989?

Spartan Daily

The Spartan Daily student newspaper front page the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Much of San Jose State’s current student body was not born when the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area 25 years ago on Oct. 17, 1989.

Yet the fact that San Jose State took the need to prepare for the next big one seriously is clear to anyone on campus today.

“I was serving as SJSU’s associate vice president for administration when the earthquake hit,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi.

Starting the moment the shaking stopped, SJSU has been working with the California State University system to plan, fund and complete numerous projects with the goal of improving campus safety.”

Spartan Daily quake story

This Spartan Daily story, published shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake, made clear the need to seismically retrofit many campus buildings (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Three large construction projects underway now began after structural engineers recommended SJSU retrofit 10 buildings to make them safer.

The $55 million seismic retrofit of Yoshihiro Uchida Hall and Spartan Complex spans an entire block from South Fourth Street to El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez.

In addition, the $90 million seismic retrofit and expansion of the Student Union spans another block from El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez to the Ninth Street Plaza.

One more project is in the works and six others have been completed as follows:

  • North Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • South Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • Tower Hall and Morris Dailey Auditorium, 1996
  • Duncan Hall, 1997
  • Sweeney Hall, 1998
  • Trades Building, 2009
  • North Parking Garage Stair Tower, planned

What should you do if an earthquake hit campus today?

“Although I have been a California resident for most of my life, the power of the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake was astounding,” said SJSU Chief of Police Pete Decena.

If there is one thing I would like the campus community to remember in the event of a major earthquake, it is to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Then, when the shaking stops, leave if it is safe to do so.”

The University Police Department website offers more information including assistance for the disabled. A refresher course on how to protect yourself during an earthquake is available online.

SJSU Breaks Ground on Residence Hall

Campus Village 2

An artist’s rendering of Campus Village 2.

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Seeking to modernize student housing and foster a sense of community, San Jose State has broken ground on a residence hall.

“Campus Village 2 was designed to support student learning and activities,” said Victor Culatta, director of University Housing Services. 

The building will accommodate 850 students over ten floors. Current plans call for the building to open to freshmen in fall 2016.

The 193,000-square-foot tower is under construction in the southeast corner of campus, near existing housing including the first phase of Campus Village, completed in 2005.

Fostering Community

University Housing Services worked with Facilities Development and Operations to envision living spaces that will support social interaction.

Residential units will be organized in L-shaped wings of 25 double-occupancy bedrooms, with two wings per floor. The rooms will open onto shared halls, encouraging residents to get to know each other.

Each residential floor will feature a quiet study room, an activity room and a laundry room. Offices and meetings space for student groups and the university community as a whole will be on the first two floors.

Courtyards on the east and west side of the building will be available for student activities. Decorative details will evoke a strong sense of historical continuity and campus connections.

Exterior accent walls will feature a brick facade reminiscent of the traditional, three-story dorms. Inside, plans call for décor featuring symbols of school spirit and iconic landmarks such as Tower Hall.

Overall, Campus Village 2 will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver equivalency standards, including a good deal of natural lighting.

Promoting Student Success

“Studies have demonstrated that on-campus residential living plays a significant role in promoting student engagement and improving academic success and student retention,” SJSU said when securing approval for the project from the California State University Board of Trustees.

The architect is Solomon Cordwell Buenz and the design-build contractor is Sundt Construction.

The budget is $126.1 million, and will be financed through the CSU Systemwide Revenue Bond Program and from housing program reserves. Housing revenue will repay the bond financing.

The new residence hall’s completion will clear the way for the next step in efforts to update the southeast corner of campus. Plans call for an expanded aquatics and recreation center that will cover space currently occupied by two traditional dorms dating back to 1960.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.