CSU San Marcos Makes Room For Veterans Center
SAN MARCOS, Calif. — California State University-San Marcos is making room on campus for a big gift to active-duty military students and veterans.
Campus officials have broken ground for the school's first stand-alone veterans' center. Set to open in the fall, the new building was designed and built by students at the Stevens’ Institute of Technology in New Jersey for the Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon. Stevens' Institute students decided to donate the building, called EcoHabit, to the San Marcos campus because of the university's reputation for serving veterans.
Students donated another building designed for the Solar Decathlon in 2011 to Habitat for Humanity in Washington, D.C.
Navy veteran Gregg Snowden will be graduating from San Marcos in December. He said he's moved through his kinesiology program quickly, thanks to the support available on campus.
"I spend seven, eight hours a day here," Snowden said at the Friday groundbreaking. "And the Vet Lounge provides me with a place to rest, a place to kick back. If I'm having a rough day, a smiling face and an encouraging word."
CSUSM President Karen Haynes said school faculty and staff take pride in the many recognitions the campus has received for being one of the country's most veteran friendly.
“And we’re not done," she said. "We will continue to create new programs. We are now going to hire our first-ever veterans’ center director. And we just completed our veterans’ and active duty strategic plan.”
The 1,000-square-foot building uses solar energy, is made from sustainable materials and analyzes data from sensors around the building to efficiently use power and water.