Impacts of Chico State's new master plan

The university is planning 22 new projects in the next 30 years, including a 4,000 seater arena and a hotel and convention center near downtown.

Posted: May 29, 2019 3:19 PM
Updated: May 29, 2019 7:29 PM

Chico, Calif.--"When school's in session, it's a hassle just getting down the road," said Josh Kavathas.

Josh Kavathas lives along Warner Street, and he's used to the bustle of students - and cars - when school's in session.

But the university's plan to put a 4,000 seater arena on his block has him worried.

"This is definitely the kind of community that would benefit from something like that, but I don't think the infrastructure here would support something of that size," said Kavathas.

The arena is part of the university's new 22-project, 30-year master plan.

"We need to be able to explain in our plan how we'll address bringing more people to the core of the city," said Associate V.P of Facilities and Projects Mike Guzzi.

But Guzzi doesn't think added traffic will be an issue - the arena would house events that already happen - like graduation ceremonies. 

"The events are happening whether we build the facility or not," said Guzzi.

Guzzi spearheaded the plan and says another top priority is to add about 1,400 beds on campus.

"They're (students are) much more apt to succeed in school if they live on campus that first year," said Guzzi.

"I think that they need to add more affordable campus living because the dorms can get very expensive - and help those struggling to find housing either off campus or on campus," said one student.

Guzzi says they also plan to work with the City of Chico on an idea to upgrade the Lost Park area downtown with a hotel and convention center.

Kavathas says the city should be involved, every step of the way.

"I feel like there's some middle ground that can be met there but it's going to take heavy communication with the council and students and anyone who lives around here in general", said Kavathas.

Before anything goes up, the university will have an environmental impact report to see what it would really look like to have an additional 300 parking spaces in the campus area.

They'll bring their master plan to council in September, and it would go in front of the CSU board of trustees as soon as May 2020.

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We've had beautiful weather over northern California today and it will continue through Wednesday before changes begin. Those changes will first involve cooler air and stronger wind, with rain and snow chances following.
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