C.W. Driver to Build Student Housing Project On California State University Northridge Campus

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California State University Northridge (CSUN) announced today it has selected the design-build team of general contractor C.W. Driver and architectural firm AC Martin Partners for a $26 million student housing complex on the campus. The 100,000 GSF design-build project, which is the second phase of the University’s student housing expansion plan, will include 396 beds, spacious recreation and lounge areas with a coffee house aptly named the ‘Freudian Sip’, study areas and laundry facilities. Additionally, rooms for living, studying and socializing for residents will be included in the complex. Construction is slated to begin in October 2013.

“C.W. Driver and AC Martin already have a strong relationship in the design build process, given we’ve collaborated on six other higher education projects. Now we are excited to embark on our first student housing complex,” said Brett Curry, vice president at Pasadena-based C.W. Driver. “With a strong team effort already in place, the design-build process allows us to provide a superior product in a faster, more efficient manner. Given the number of incoming students, this housing is sorely needed.”

CSUN is currently engaged in a master construction plan to reinvigorate the campus which is focused on increasing student retention rates and fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among its students. Recent studies, including AC Martin’s own Post Occupancy Evaluations of the first phase of CSUN freshman housing, continue to show that universities that focus on student engagement and support programs have the highest success rates in both student retention and graduation. C.W. Driver and AC Martin will work together to construct a living complex that cultivates a campus lifestyle appropriate for freshman students, focusing on community elements within the complex such as a community kitchen, a classroom and learning center, a recreation lounge and multipurpose room, as well as outdoor courtyards with fire pits, barbeques, seating and activity spaces and an extended patio space.

“Freshman housing must provide opportunities for expansive personal growth in a framework of support, socialization and security. We have designed CSUN Phase 2 Housing to create a community that provides a variety of open spaces to encourage socialization, and living clusters sized and configured to allow students to become part of a family structure where they feel connected and supported,” said Gail Bouvrie, lead designer on the project for AC Martin. “CW Driver understood the importance of these design objectives and were partners in realizing these goals throughout the process. They were engaged from the start as collaborators and provided important insight on matters of constructability, efficiency and market conditions.”

Once completed, this phase of the CSUN student housing construction will double the number of units completed in the first phase. Completion of this phase also marks the halfway point in the CSUN master construction plan, with more than 1,500 units remaining to be built.

This phase of the project will be the southernmost housing development on the north end of the campus.

Some of the projects that have already been built using the C.W. Driver and AC Martin design-build team are the Azusa Pacific University Segerstrom Science Center, the College of Business Administration Complex at Cal Poly Pomona, the Austin Minnich Laboratory at the Keck Building that was constructed on the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) campus, and the Student Union at Argyros Forum addition that was completed for Chapman University.

Completion is anticipated in April, 2015.

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