Stanislaus State students can be found enjoying many different aspects of campus, ranging from the many ponds to the new buildings on campus. (Signal Video)

The fall 2021 semester at Stan State saw a repopulation of students after the 2020 lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The semester began with Zoom classes until October 4, when students returned to campus under restrictions and guidelines against Covid-19. Now that students are back on campus, they can enjoy and take advantage of the new landscaping and renovated buildings that Stan State has to offer.

Among the major changes at Stan State include the newly remodeled Vasche Library and the Student Center. They had been under construction for over a year and opened just in time for the fall semester.

Library Under Construction

The Vasche Library under construction in 2020. (Signal Photo/Kimberly Horne)

“I have only been at this school for a year and a half and I’ve only seen the campus for this past semester” said Amber Huk (junior, Creative Media). “I do really like the designs of those buildings though and I think they did a great job.”

Student Center After

The Student Center after remodeling in 2020. (Signal Photo/Kimberly Horne)

Many students did not see the construction and reconstruction of these buildings. However, coming back from lockdown has shown the impact that these new buildings have on the campus.

Morley Brown (senior, English) agrees with the changes and finds them to be great updates to the campus. When Brown started Stan State, the library and Student Center were still under construction.

“Going back to campus after almost two years of online instruction makes the buildings stand out and an enjoyable feature on campus,” said Brown.

Stan State Waterfall at Willow Lake

The waterfall at Willow Lake. (Signal Photo/Kimberly Horne)

One notable feature of the campus is the presence of the calming waterfalls, greenery and bridges. It provides a certain identity for Stan State and even offers use as a park when classes are not in session.

“I think that overall, the landscaping on campus is pretty good and I often see workers outside cleaning leaves and mowing the grass,” said Huk.

Although the campus has quite a bit to offer to the eye, some students believer there is still room for some additions that could make the campus flourish even more.

“I would like to see more flowers. I came from a different university that had a lot of flowers and beautiful landscapes all over campus,” said Huk. “It still is a beautiful campus, but I think planting more beautiful, vibrant flowers would add that finishing touch.”

Perhaps there could also be potential for extra seating around campus to further take in what the landscaping has to offer.

“I think more seating areas scattered around the campus would be nice,” said Brown. “I’ve noticed that most of the seating is located around the Student Center and main cluster of buildings.”

Stan State has also been finding ways to conserve water, and with the Central Valley’s continuous droughts, the number of water storage ponds on campus as grown as the campus attempts to keep up with demand.

"I think the gentleman who designed this were ahead of their time. It's a very ingenious design and cleverly built to do something like this so long ago," explains Josh Bristow, a maintenance plumber at CSU Stanislaus. 

The many ponds on campus also serve as a water reservoir to draw from to irrigating the rest of campus. While the system was originally designed in the 1960s, it still allows for students to enjoy the benefits of recycled water for uses in heating, cooling, enjoyment, and more.

Campus Lake

Stan State offers many water features to enjoy. (Signal Photo/Kimberly Horne)

While some students may find the new features on campus to be surprise, changes to the campus landscape actually take years of planning before any major changes are implemented. While this may mean there are no overnight changes to surprise students, it does not close the door on plans for any future changes.

"The leadership of the facilities team is considering expanding our water storage capabilities again with the add on of another lake, but this is something that will probably take several years before it is complete," explained Bristow.

Sequoia Lake

Sequoia Lake is a scenic area on campus where students can relax and enjoy themselves. (Signal Photo/Kimberly Horne)

Another change to the campus is the removal of most of the Library Annex buildings, with now only three buildings remaining permanently. So far there has been indication what may take the spot of the newly removed building.

As campus life slowly returns to what many would consider normal, the new additions and remodeling at Stan State prove to be a pleasant experience for students.

“Overall, I enjoy the landscaping on campus. I think that it provides a clean and open space for students to enjoy, even if it is just walking from class to class,” said Brown.

Stan State’s landscaping and campus stands out in terms of scenery and buildings in the Central Valley. It provides a welcoming and relaxing environment for many students who are new, returning, or just reliving memories from college.

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