By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor
Bakersfield, Calif.—Bernards is developing a $34.8 million design-build student-housing project on the Bakersfield campus of California State University in collaboration with San Jose-based Steinberg Architects.
When completed, the wood-framed, Type V-A structures, situated on a 7.5-acre site, will consist of 512 beds in 113 student suites in two four-story and one one-story student housing structure. Overall, the project will include 145,004 square feet with a center courtyard, activities area, a commons building with laundry facilities and administrative offices.
“Bernards has been committed to the education facility market for decades, believing that the learning environment—including the student life aspects—is vital to encouraging young adults to pursue their educational aspirations and achieve their life goals,” Steve Pellegren, Bernards’ vice president of preconstruction services, tells MHN. “As one of the most active education facility builders in the nation, we leverage that success with our commitment to give back to the communities we serve by making significant charitable donations to the educational institutions we serve.”
The community will incorporate study rooms, lounges, classrooms, a game room and a multi-purpose room. The central courtyard will allow opportunities for further group or independent study, while providing residents with active outdoor areas for recreation.
“The ability to have quiet study areas, as well as areas for social and recreation interaction, encourages the students to lead a balanced campus life and creates a sense of community for their residential experience,” Pellegren says. “Located on campus adjacent to existing student housing, the new complex enables students to quickly reach their classes and research facilities, as well as have a sense of community among the other students who live on campus.”
Dr. Thomas Wallace, vice president of student affairs for CSU Bakersfield, recently commented on the University’s website that the project demonstrates CSUB’s greater commitment to student success. He added that as the University extends its reach in higher education and is more defined and widespread, interest from students across the country, as well as international students, will increase due to the further awareness of the high quality education available at CSU Bakersfield—as well as the student experience on the campus.
“As we have collaborated with CSU Bakersfield and other of the CSU campuses on student life buildings, we have seen firsthand how providing students with suitable and comfortable living arrangements positively contributes to their higher education experience,” Pellegren says. “The timing of this project was excellent from the cost standpoint because we were able to procure at a point when materials and labor had waned from the pricing we had seen prior to economic crisis that began in 2008.”
The project is scheduled for completion in December 2014.