FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno State held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its new student union, set to open Fall 2021.
“Today we are celebrating our students’ leadership and vision in making the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student Union possible,” Fresno State President Joseph Castro said.
The new student union is being named after Lynda and Stewart Resnick after they donated $10 million toward it.
“When it’s completed, this will be a place where students can connect with each other, study with each other, have a meal with each other and be there for one another,” Lynda Resnick said.
The road to this ceremony hasn’t been easy. This student union adds a fee for students per semester. In 2017, students voted against it. It wasn’t until a year later that students voted in favor of the fee.
The total project costs $60 million. While the Resnicks’ donation lowers the amount of money students will have to pay once it’s open, it is still a $149 fee per semester.
Fresno State student Vanessa Zamora works at Panda Express in the current student union.
She said it needs an update, but she doesn’t think it’s fair for future students since they didn’t have a say in it.
“They’re not even attending Fresno State yet,” Zamora said. “What if they were okay with the student union? They didn’t need a new one.”
After students approved it in March 2018, construction began in November of last year. It’s projected to open in Fall 2021. That’s when students will begin paying the new fee.
“We know this will help you achieve the greatest dreams, and we expect nothing less,” Lynda Resnick said.
The current student union has workspaces, meeting rooms and dining areas. The new student union will have all of that in addition to a scholar center that will be dedicated to scholarship recipients who receive tutoring and counseling.
The university said the current student union will remain where it is and will complement the new facility.