Foundation nears completion

by Kevin Smead

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

Though the semester is still in its early stages for most San Diego State students, construction of the new Aztec Student Union has been in full swing for months. Since the closing of Aztec Center on May 31, much progress has been made toward the completion of the new center.

After the groundbreaking ceremony, demolition preparation began the following day.

During the early stages, the construction fences as well as a pedestrian walkway were put into place so students could maneuver around the construction sites.

The first building to come down was La Tienda, which housed the old ticket office and The Greek Store. On July 22, hard demolition began on the main building, signifying the beginning of the end of the demolition process.

On Aug. 8, the end of the hard demolition process was marred, with most of the remaining work focused on processing and separating the demolished materials, as well as smaller demolitions. Around this time, new chilled water valves were also installed. These tie into the buildings’ cooling system, regulating utilities such as air conditioning. With the water pipes in place, work on the steam tunnel could begin. Currently backfilling, or the process of refilling a trench with its excavated materials, is taking place around the chilled water pipes, as well as work on the sewage and storm drain systems.

Looking ahead, the Aztec Student Union’s foundation is planned to be in place before the end of the year, with a target date of early November. Once the foundation is fully laid, vertical work can begin sometime in December, providing visible progress in the actual construction of the new building.

While construction on the new Student Union has a completion goal set for the fall 2013 semester, another campus construction project is in its finishing stages. The Aztec Student

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor
Antonio Zaragoza, Photo Editor

Union added solar panels on top of Parking Structure 1 and will have an unveiling ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11. This solar installation will supply the new student union with 356 kV of power, covering a significant portion of the new facilities’ energy needs. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will feature speeches from SDSU President Elliot Hirshman and Associated Students President Cody Barbo.

The Aztec Student Union project is being funded by a student fee referendum that was voted on last March. The increase in fees, which will take place in conjunction with the opening of the new student union, will cost students an extra $94 per semester. Once completed, the building will be LEED Platinum certified with the U.S. Green Building Council. This distinction would make it the only building of its kind in the entire California State University system.

For more information and day-by-day updates on the Aztec Student Union, visit For real-time updates, videos and pictures, find Aztec Student Union on Facebook and Twitter.