Although many students leave campus after their finals, Cal State Long Beach will still be bustling with construction over the summer.
Physical Planning and Facilities Management will be undertaking 44 different construction projects over the summer, spanning from parking lot upgrades to building renovations, according to the 2018 Summer Construction Map.
These projects are vital, not only for student convenience, but for maintaining the quality of the campus as a whole, according to Zakhour.
“If we don’t make these updates on these facilities, they will literally stop working,” said Mark Zakhour, director of Design and Construction. “We are in the position of having a very old campus with very little money and very little resources.”
As for how all of these projects are funded, not all of the money comes straight out of the campus budget.
“Some are funded from the State of California,” Zakhour said. “Some are funded through donors. Some are funded from the departments themselves. They’re coming from a wide variety of areas. It depends on the actual project itself.”
Once they receive these funds, Facilities Management prepares the necessary resources to break ground on these projects right after commencement.
“We spend all year planning it, ordering materials, doing contract and design,” Zakhour said. “Then when the students leave for the summer, we jump into every project. Every year, summer is our biggest time of the year.”
Of the 44 projects, some of the most notable include a renovation of the Student Success Center, a new shared soccer and softball clubhouse, continued construction of the College of Continuing and Professional Education and a renovation of The Pointe.
Not all of the projects on the summer agenda are large scale renovations or ground-up constructions. Fire alarm upgrades, deck recoating, exterior building painting and railing installations are also acts of maintenance.
“We’re doing a lot of stuff that’s not exciting to people, but that keeps the campus running, that keeps the lights on, that keeps things moving,” Zakhour said.
Although California has funded some of the campus’s recent construction projects, these operations are made in the name of upkeep, not beautification.
“Unfortunately we don’t have enough money to do things that aren’t necessary here on campus,” Zakhour said. “We’re not able to do stuff that is just making things prettier. A lot of the stuff we do, or most of the stuff we do, there’s a real need for it.”
Students need not worry about construction hindering them during the fall semester. Most of these projects have been scheduled with students in mind.
“I would say that 80 percent of [construction projects] start and finish during the summer,” Zakhour said.
Though these projects may remain in the periphery of student life, they play an important role in maintaining the overall quality of the university itself.
“We pick our classes but we’re not always very knowledgeable about stuff breaking down and how that affects students,” said journalism junior, Alexis Causey. “But I’m sure if the campus stays afloat, the students will stay afloat.”