$1.3 million plan to improve SDSU campus entrances approved

by Emely Navarro, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State President Elliot Hirshman recently announced the approval of “Destination SDSU,” a $1.3 million project to improve signage on campus.

Hirshman proposed “Destination SDSU” to the board of SDSU’s nonprofit organization Campanile Foundation last year. This new construction project will create gates or entrances in multiple areas around campus so visitors will know when they are on campus. The board recently approved the plans, and construction will begin during summer 2016.

“There’s a significant challenge in terms of knowing when people are on campus as there is no destination point,” Hirshman said at the Campanile Foundation board meeting last year.

“Part of the project is to create gates or entrances in multiple areas so people can know, 1. that they are at San Diego State and, 2. that this is what we stand for,” the meeting’s minutes quote Hirshman saying. “We have a certain tradition, history, and values and approaches.”

These entry gates and signs will be located on 55th Street, Campanile Drive and East Campus Drive. This project also intends to replace the monuments sign that was at the end of Campanile Walkway facing Hardy Avenue before the trolley station was built.

This new project is a part of a larger improvement plan that administration has for the university.

Robert Schulz, the associate vice president for real estate, planning and development said  “Destination SDSU” is an informational signage program.

“We will be replacing particular signs on campus to remember the parking structures and parking lots in order to make them much more comprehensible to a new visitor,” Schulz said. “You know, athletics display, university housing display, Parking Structure 3 displays.”

Schultz said every year a modest amount of money from the university’s budget is set aside for university improvements.

The President’s Cabinet and several other committees weigh in on how the funds are allocated.

Maria Gonzalez, a psychology sophomore, said spending this much money on signs instead of building more classrooms, parking structures or hiring teachers is unnecessary.

“Every day I spend almost an hour looking for parking on campus, there are classes I didn’t get because they were full,” Gonzalez said. “Instead of hiring more professors to teach these classes or building more parking structures they’re building signs.”

Richard Falcke, a biology senior, agreed with Gonzalez.

“The signs will make campus looks nicer, but there are other things they should be using that money to improve campus, like fixing classrooms,” Falcke said.

Thomas Styles, an undeclared freshman, said the signs will be useful for first-time visitors.

“When I came to visit SDSU for the first time, I drove past it on Montezuma with my parents because we didn’t see any signs,” Styles said. “Adding signs and entry points would make it more distinct when you are coming from different areas.”

Construction is estimated to last for two months during the summer.

Other current campus construction projects include the South Campus Plaza renovation, set to be completed in fall 2016, and the Engineering Interdisciplinary Sciences building, set to be substantially completed in January 2018. 

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