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First look: Cal State San Marcos's posh student union complex

The new 89,000-sf University Student Union at CSUSM features a massive, open-air amphitheater, student activity center with a game lounge, rooftop garden and patio, and ballroom space.

May 01, 2014 |
The new University Student Union at California State University San Marcos featu

PCL Construction is pleased to announce that it has completed the University Student Union (USU) at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). The grand opening was marked by a ribbon-cutting event on April 15, attended by hundreds of students, community members, alumni, faculty, and staff. 

The new USU is the campus center for socialization, casual interaction, programmed activities, and student organizations.

CSUSM President, Dr. Karen Haynes, says, “This union, this vibrant hub of our campus, was constructed with the interests and needs of our students at its heart.  We also took into consideration how our community might use this space, how our student union could bring us even closer to our region. Our partners, like PCL Construction, helped turn our vision into an amazing space for all to use.”

The USU is a four-story, 89,000-sf building which cost $43.9 million, and was funded by student fees. The USU features new dining options, an open-air amphitheater, a student activity center with a game lounge, a rooftop garden and patio, and a 9,000 sq. ft. ballroom. The USU was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.  Built by PCL Construction Services, Inc., the project was designed by Hornberger + Worstell, Inc.



Michael Gallen, PCL Construction’s Project Executive, says, “The most challenging projects are also often the most rewarding.  This project offered numerous technical challenges with the site’s multi-level geography. It’s now extremely rewarding to see students enjoying this space. Its unique design is ideal for both private study, and social gatherings.”

Dale Kain, Vice President and District Manager for PCL, says, “PCL continued its reputation for design-build project delivery, and completing a quality product.  Building the USU at CSUSM was another step in creating a great partnership with the university.  We look forward to continuing our vital work at CSUSM in the upcoming months and years.”



About PCL Construction 

PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centers. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $6 billion, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Watch us build at

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