It has taken 10 years, and it will take a few more before the first touchdown is scored. But Cal State Fullerton, long in search of a home for its Titan athletic teams, won final approval last week to build a hotel and a $6.7-million football stadium and sports complex on the university campus.
The California State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the school's proposal at its monthly meeting Wednesday. The vote clears the way for construction to begin next summer on the 224-room Marriott Hotel, which will be the only hotel on a public university campus in California.
The $16-million hotel, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 1988, will be on Nutwood Avenue just off the Orange Freeway. Part of the hotel's profits will go to the City of Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, which is advancing the $6.7 million needed to build a 10,000-seat football-soccer stadium and a 2,000-seat baseball pavilion.
Completion of the stadium in 1989 would give the Cal State Fullerton football team its first true home stadium. The team now schedules most of its games for the road, and plays home games at Santa Ana Stadium before relatively small crowds.
Earlier attempts to build the hotel and stadium were stymied by court challenges from student groups, and by a developer who pulled out in 1985 after the university finally cleared the legal hurdles.
Last month, the Cal State Fullerton Faculty Senate criticized the plan. While the group had no legal authority to block construction, university President Jewel Plummer Cobb said she would drop the proposal if the senate voted against it.
Her gamble paid off, though, and the Faculty Senate overwhelmingly endorsed the hotel and sports complex.
A last-minute attempt by a student group to obtain a guarantee that the hotel would give hiring priority to students was rejected by the CSU trustees over fears that it would "scare off" Marriott from proceeding with construction.
The trustees did agree, however, to insert non-binding language in the hotel agreement that "encourages the negotiation of agreements with Marriott Corp. which promote priority employment . . ." of students by the hotel.