Back to school for SDSU and Cal State San Marcos - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Back to school for SDSU and Cal State San Marcos

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Classes began Monday for tens of thousands of students at San Diego State University and Cal State San Marcos.

Around 35,000 students are registered for the fall semester at SDSU, of whom roughly 8,000 are new undergraduates, according to the school. Of the new students, about 5,000 are freshmen who bring an average high school grade-point average of 3.69.

As the semester begins, several construction projects are taking place on or adjacent to campus.

They include a $3.1 million renovation at the College of Business building, which will include expanded meeting areas, a new research lab and additional administration space. A third floor pavilion will also be built and named for project donor Tom Page. Work is expected to be completed in December.

Also undergoing renovation is the 141,000-square-foot Zura residence hall, with upgrades to heating and air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, new windows, seismic improvements and expanded community areas. No one is living at the 46-year-old dorm this year, according to SDSU. The $53 million project is set for completion next summer.

Preliminary work has started at South Campus Plaza, a mixed-use development next to the SDSU Transit Center. The project, where construction is set to really get going next month, will provide living space for 600 students, along with retail outlets. It is scheduled to take two years to complete.

Cal State San Marcos welcomed an all-time high of more than 12,850 students, of whom 2,175 are freshmen and more than 1,600 are transfers.

Two new facilities are scheduled for opening at CSUSM during this school year.

A 1,000-square-foot center for veterans, housed in a structure donated by students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, will throw open its doors next month. A 20,000-square-foot student health and counseling center will become available in time for the start of the spring semester, according to school officials.

Construction is scheduled to begin next year on a new 1,400-seat arena, as the Cougars prepare to upgrade the athletic program from NAIA to NCAA Division II.

Cal State San Marcos recently opened the third phase of student housing, called "The Quad." The university now offers on-campus housing for 1,500 students.

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