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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, May 13, 2013, 6:45 am

SSU student center nears completion

Fundraising continues for outdoor pavilion at Green center

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    ROHNERT PARK — Efforts continue to secure full funding for constructing an outdoor pavilion at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center, one of a number of construction projects at the school that include a new student center that is nearing completion, according to the university.

    Construction is nearing completion for SSU’s new student center (photo courtesy SSU, Cody Fitzgerald)

    Together, the world-class Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, proposed outdoor pavilion and student center represent well over $200 million in completed and planned construction projects.

    Approximately $3.7 million in additional funding is required to begin work on the outdoor pavilion, said Ryan Ernst, who helps direct the school’s revenue-generating functions as its director of sales and marketing for entrepreneurial activities. The total cost for the outdoor venue, which would adjoin the center’s Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, is estimated to be less than $20 million.

    The school announced in July of last year that it had entered into a sponsorship arrangement with Mastercard Worldwide that would provide $15 million for construction of the pavilion. If fundraising proceeds as hoped, Mr. Ernst said that the school anticipates contract documents to be issued in the spring of next year and for construction to begin that summer. The pavilion could be completed as early as spring of 2015.

    Leaders at the Green Music Center are also hoping to raise $3 million by September of this year to complete Schroeder Hall, a recital and instruction space near the main 1,400-seat concert hall. The Weill family has pledged to donate $1 million to that effort, assuming that an additional $2 million can be raised. When completed, the hall will also house a 1,248-pipe organ gifted to the center in 2005.

    The $62 million student center, which will feature the largest single conference space in Sonoma County, is expected to open this fall, Mr. Ernst said. Between 300 and 350 people have been hired to work on that project, according to information from the project general contractor Sundt Construction.

    The student center is funded by a partner group that includes University Housing, Sonoma State Enterprises, Associated Students, Student Union Corporation and a $150-per-semester student fee passed in 2011.

    The three-story, 130,000-square-foot building will feature restaurants, retail and office spaces, providing a central hub for a student population that has trended towards spending more time on-campus. The 12,000-square-foot “grand ballroom” at the center can be configured for large and small events, and is expected to enhance school functions and the university’s summer conference season.

    Rudolph and Sletten is the general contractor for the Green Music Center and the proposed outdoor pavilion.

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