Spartan Complex, Yoshihiro Uchida Hall scheduled to be renovated next year

by Mar 19, 2012 3:22 pm Tags: , , , , ,

 The Spartan Complex East, Spartan Complex Central, and the Yoshihiro Uchida hall, natatorium and annex will be renovated in 2013 and 2014 to bring the building up to new seismic code and expand the 157,000-square-foot complex by an additional 13,570 square feet.

According to Shirley Reekie, chair of the kinesiology department, conditions in the Spartan Complex have been horrible.

"This is a major renovation, 30 years we’ve been waiting for it, one problem that has plagued the building over the years is its roofing," Reekie said.

"You can see if you’ve ever walked through it, you can see where the waterfalls cascades down the wall. You can see all the places the roof leaked," Reekie said.

Phase one of construction will begin February 2013, which will be on Uchida hall and annex, and phase two will begin on complex buildings central and east March 2014, according to Jaleh Behrouze, facilities development, architect/construction specialist for SJSU, the complex is scheduled to be completed March 2015.

Douglas Hailey, a junior hospitality, recreation and tourism management major, said he would like to see the renovation improve the classroom environment in the Spartan Complex. 

“It’s a learning environment, you want to be comfortable," Hailey said. "The heating and the cooling system needed a little upgrade. It's either too cold or too hot. You don’t think it's insulated properly."

According Behrouze, the California State Univeristy was reviewing all the buildings on campus and the complex was deemed the first that needed the upgrade.

Yoshihiro Uchida Hall and its natatorium  was built in 1932, under an older code and needed to be brought up to new code for student safety, according to Behrouze.

“The major point of the project, besides weekly upgrading, the gym needed upgrades, they're adding shear walls for earthquakes so during earthquakes things will be safe,” Behrouze said. “According to the new code they're going to provide all the seismic bracing that’s needed to resist earthquakes.”

Felix Wu, a senior kinesiology major, said he was unaware of the complex’s old code, deteriorating safety and that no major renovations has been done since the 1930's.

“That’s scary to know that they haven’t done anything since 1932," Wu said. “It’s definitely good to remodel, we need to step up.”

The Spartan Complex does not have a fire sprinkler system and is not wheelchair accessible, according to Behrouze.

“There was no fire sprinkler system in the whole complex," she said. "To make it safe for the students, we’re adding a fire sprinkling system in the complex.

The complex will feature a new 155- seat auditorium classroom between Uchida hall and annex for students and a new electrical/plumbing system, according to Behrouze.

She said new changes will come for the natatorium’s old pool house that wasn’t being used and will be renovated into locker rooms and restrooms facilities.

Behrouze added that the natatorium will be made into two levels, the first floor for lockers and restrooms and the second for a judo mat room.

According to SJSU’s website, Yoshihiro Uchida, the man who the building is named after, is well known for his leadership and coaching of the SJSU judo program, as well as internationally and at the Olympics.

Behrouze estimated that the total cost for the Spartan complex renovation will be $55 million, which all comes from state funding which SJSU has been asking for the last 10 years.

"We’ve frequently been reviewed every five years and the reviewers have said more than once, 'you have the best faculty in the worst facility of the CSU,' and I agree on both counts," Reekie said.

Reekie had a smile on her face when she found out the Spartan Complex would be renovated next.

"I can't begin to describe how excited (I am), except I would be more excited if it were actually happening now becausehaving been disappointed three times, I think there's a certain part of me that just wont believe it’ll happen until it actually happens," Reekie said. "So I cannot wait for this renovation to happen, even (though) that’s a lot of work, its definitely going to be worth it."

Behrouze added that no major changes to the gym will be done because the flooring is good but that the ventilation system will be improved.

According to Daniel No, SJSU associate director of planning design and construction, the next project will be the health building, which is scheduled to be under construction sometime next year.  

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