New center construction to begin

Posted Sept. 21, 2007
Steven Bier
The old Student Center, built in 1973, was recently remodeled as the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion. To replace the old Student Center, the University of La Verne demolished the Old Gym over the summer to begin construction of the Sarah and Michael Abraham Campus Center. A pre-ground breaking celebration is scheduled for the Abraham Campus Center on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m, which is also Homecoming Weekend. The construction is estimated to last 18-24 months before completion.

Francine Gobert
Staff Writer

The demolition of the Old Gym marked the end of an era and the beginning of the future for the University of La Verne.

As part of the Master Plan to transform the University’s overall facilities within the next 10 years, the Campus Center Project is in progress.

The project includes the renovations made to the Sports Science and Athletic Pavilion, establishment of the Frank and Nadine Johnson Family Plaza, and the construction of the Sarah and Michael Abraham Campus Center.

David Koch, the new director of facilities management and member of the master planning team, said everything is on schedule and actual ground breaking will take place in mid-November.

The ground breaking will be preceded with a ceremony during the week of homecoming which will include President Steve Morgan and other key people.

“The celebration will not only be for ground breaking but for the University stepping into prominence and the new role that the University has in Southern California,” Philip Hawkey, executive vice president of the University, said.

The Campus Center’s $20.7 million budget is funded through a capital campaign which includes donations, bonds and grants and is expected to be completed by 2009.

“If everything goes right what we really want is to meet our absolute deadline goal and that is to have it there by fall 2009,” Koch said.

The Campus Center will be one of the most advanced facilities on campus due to the buildings architectural design, furnishings and its technology.

“The building will add an eclectic feeling to the campus, there is a lot of glass with a view towards the mountains that will be very nice,” Koch said.

He also said there will be comfortable areas for students to relax and they are even looking to propose to make the building wireless.

The Campus Center building will feature three levels that will include a new café, in addition to Davenport Dining Hall, that will lead out into the plaza.

Along with this, there will be additional seating, recreation rooms, a new branch of the bookstore, multi-purpose rooms and hang-out space.

The building will also house the Student Affairs offices, including the Associated Students of ULV and Campus Activities Board, as well as additional classrooms.

“It’s our new living room, everyone will get to know each other. For the first time in a long time there will be one spot on campus where the entire campus community will come together,” Hawkey said.

As the Campus Center progresses, students and faculty can expect to see major changes around the Campus Center construction site and around campus.

These changes include the loss of additional parking, which means up to 40 spaces of Second Street parking that will be lost due to construction.

The arrival of the Campus Center will also mean the closure of Leo’s Den, which serves as the current hang out area for many students.

According to Hawkey the area that now houses Leo’s Den will be converted into office space for faculty and will be used for classrooms once the Campus Center is completed.

As the University proceeds with its Master Plan to transform the facilities of the main campus, future students, faculty and staff will soon be able to experience the completed Campus Center.

“It’s a better, bigger air conditioned space,” Hawkey said. “I think students will be excited about it. It is the key to the development of the campus carrying out a master plan.”

For more information about the Campus Center Project visit,

Francine Gobert can be reached at

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