San Marcos,
09:12 AM

University Student Union Honored with National Design Award

Press Release by Margaret Chantung

The Association of College Unions International (ACUI) recognized California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and the architecture firm Hornberger Worstell with the 2015 Facility Design Award of Excellence for the recently constructed CSUSM University Student Union. The award, presented annually to five universities and firms across the nation, recognizes outstanding and successful collaborations between architects and campuses in the design of facilities that foster student learning.

“Students and campus leaders at California State University San Marcos have fulfilled a vision with the 2014 opening of its University Student Union,” ACUI wrote in a press release announcing the award. “This space serves as the heartbeat of campus—a welcome space for all students to gather, supporting a community of campus spirit and the development of campus life.”


Located near the center of campus between Kellogg Library and Chavez Plaza, the CSUSM University Student Union is a four-story, 89,000,000 sq. ft. building. Highlights include dining options, an open-air amphitheater, a student activity center with a game lounge, a rooftop patio, and a 9,000 sq. ft. ballroom. Designed and built with sustainability in mind to meet LEED Gold standards, a live roof garden is among the key sustainable features, helping regulate the building’s temperature and reduce energy use. Other green attributes include solar panels on the pavilion roofs, use of natural lighting throughout the building and a water reclamation system. The $43.9 million project, funded through student fees, opened in spring 2014.

Other 2015 awardees included: KSS Architects, OPN Architects and Cornell College for the Thomas Commons; Mackey Mitchell and the University of Alabama–Huntsville for the Charger Union; Moody Nolan and Purdue University for the France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center; and Perkins+Will and Colorado State University for the Lory Student Center.