California State University, Chico Master Plan

California State University Chico SmithGroup Ann Arbor Higher Education Campus Planning
CSU Chico Master Plan SmithGroup Ann Arbor Higher Education
California State University Chico SmithGroup Ann Arbor High Education Campus Plan
California State University Chico SmithGroup Ann Arbor High Education Campus Plan
California State University Chico Master Plan SmithGroup Ann Arbor
CSU Chico Master Plan SmithGroup Ann Arbor
California State University Chico Master Plan SmithGroup Ann Arbor
California State University Chio SmithGroup Ann Arbor
California State University Chico Master Plan SmithGroup Ann Arbor
California State Chico Campus Master Plan SmithGroup Ann Arbor Higher Education

Inclusive, strategic, and sustainable, this plan creates an updated campus that better reflects and celebrates the changing face of the California State University, Chico (CSU,Chico) student body and the state of California.

Client

California State University, Chico

Location

Chico, California

Markets/Services

Campus Master Plans, Campus Planning, Higher Education

Just as California’s increasingly diverse population is a harbinger of America’s changing demographics, the student body of CSU, Chico represents the growing diversity in California’s higher education system. Minority students are now the majority at CSU, Chico, making up 56 percent of its current student profile. The University achieved federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and an impressive 50 percent first-generation students and 35 percent low-income students complete a four-year degree.  

 

California State University Chico SmithGroup Ann Arbor High Education Campus Plan

 

CSU, Chico’s motto, “Today Decides Tomorrow” underscores the school’s pride and commitment to providing quality, accessible higher education in Northern California. Yet its physical campus, established in the 19th-century and expanded throughout the 20th, no longer aligns with the University’s contemporary values and 21st-century students. Through the planning effort, it sought to reshape its campus into a more inclusive environment that could more effectively address its diverse students’ needs.

 

CSU Chico master plan smithgroup ann arbor Architecture higher Education campus planning

A student-centered framework was developed to help guide the creation of the campus master plan. 

 

The CSU, Chico campus plan provides the types of spaces and support services that will enable its diverse student body to thrive. It creates a student-centered framework that responds to several identified needs: safe, affordable housing; better access to food; whole student wellness; flexible learning spaces; a 24/7 campus; and inclusive spaces for all.

 

CSU Chico master plan hub smithgroup campus master plan

The primary idea of the plan is to give the campus core back to the students, creating a strong "HUB" of student-focused programs and spaces that activate campus 24/7.

 

Surrounding the HUB are residential and health and wellness improvements that focus on holistic student success. Student housing is positioned near the campus core to provide improved equity for first generation and low-income students, while additional dining options at expanded times help alleviate food insecurity issues. More indoor and outdoor spaces create supportive, welcoming areas for study, student organizations, support services and programs. Significant increases in the quantity and quality of indoor and outdoor athletic, recreation, and wellness spaces reduce scheduling conflicts, provide better services, and increase students’ quality of life.

 

California State University Chico SmithGroup Ann Arbor High Education Campus Plan

Students were included as part of an integrated planning process that would ensure that their needs were met through the master plan.

 

Sustainability is a guiding principle of the University. The plan invests in sustainable strategies, including on-site renewable energy production, to achieve net zero. The landscape strategy enhances the grassland/chaparral/oak and conifer forest landscape of the region. Improved stormwater management helps recharge the aquifer. Big Chico Creek, which flows through campus, becomes a focal point, with a creekside trail that knits the campus together.

 

CSU Chico California State Master Plan Sustainable SmithGroup

 

By abandoning longstanding cultural norms and focusing on the needs of today’s evolving student body, CSU, Chico’s plan envisions a campus that becomes a physical manifestation of the school’s motto, supporting today’s students on their promising path to tomorrow.