Faculty Staff Club undergoes renovations, modernization process

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Ashley Na

The Faculty Staff Club was renovated by the university before the spring semester.

by Ashley Na, Staff Writer

San Diego State’s Faculty Staff Club building underwent renovations during much of 2019 for the first time in 15 to 20 years. The changes came thanks to endowments from the club and additional funds from Aztec Shops and the university.

Faculty Staff Club Board President Barry Hanan said the club spent $110,000 — with Aztec Shops spending $125,000 — to revamp the building, including the flooring, tiles, carpet, restrooms, patio and meeting room.

The university’s contributed a similar amount to fund the renovations, according to the Faculty Staff Club Board member Davette Kawachi.

She also said the university covered the cost of termite repairs, roof leaks and the asbestos mitigation.

The club currently serves more than 200 members.

The Faculty Staff Club was designed for faculty members and visiting faculty members as a place to meet, exchange ideas and share a meal, Hanan said.

“We belong to an international organization,” Hanan said. “It’s the Association of College and University Clubs. We have a reciprocity so that if you’re a member of the Faculty Staff Club here at SDSU, you’re fully honored to go to any other club that’s a member of that organization.”

The club replaced the old, separate salad bar with a new salad bar, with a new warming unit, Faculty Staff Club manager Ashley Drake said. She said this replacement opened up a lot of space in the facility.

“I think the most impressive thing for me is the service,” Kawachi said. “The service area is so much (more) modern looking. (The salad bar is) efficient too. Hot food is hot, cold food is cold.”

The club was originally formed in 1975 by a group of faculty members after the university agreed to pursue the project if the faculty could raise $100,000. Hanan said the club raised $89,000 and obtained $11,000 through $1,000 donations from nine board members at the time and two anonymous donors.

“From the photos I’ve seen, it looked like a cafeteria back then,” Drake said. “Casual, cafeteria style. It transitioned from being the original library on campus and they took it over for the faculty club when they moved the library to the other building.”

Hanan said there is a lot of personal relationship building that goes on in the Faculty Staff Club between staff, administrators and faculty. For instance, he said sometimes a member of the club will come up and ask them if they’ll serve one of their recipes, in which the club admittedly has, Drake said.

“One thing that’s important to us as a hospitality point of contact is that we strive to create a better experience for the guests here than you may get another outlet from the campus because we offer linen service and china, silverware (service),” Drake said. “We have an award-winning chef, so our food is fantastic. It’s really a nice, inviting ambience to come and forge these meetings where ideas can be exchanged.”

The Faculty Club facility operates from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it is located in front of the administration building.

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