Damaged CSUN Site Formally Reopens

With the snip of a ribbon, Cal State Northridge officials Wednesday formally reopened the renovated kinesiology building that was severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The 200,000-square-foot structure underwent a $4.3-million face lift and reopened when fall classes began in August.

In a brief ceremony Wednesday, President Blenda J. Wilson called the reopening another milestone in the university's recovery from the horrific temblor that rumbled beneath the campus and collapsed several of its buildings.

"Over the summer, buildings open and trailers disappear," Wilson said, referring to the temporary quarters that came to symbolize the dire conditions at the university following the quake. "Each semester we make major progress [toward] our return."

After the quake, Wilson adopted the motto, "Not just back, but better." However, faculty, staff and students had their doubts.

"I just wanted to be back and be better later," said Ann Stutts, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, which is housed in the building. "But this building looks better today than it did at its original opening" in 1962.

Indeed, the building underwent not only cosmetic changes, but major structural work to its support columns and electrical systems, said Art Elbert, vice president for administration and finance.

The building's amenities include a gymnasium, swimming pool, basketball court, dance studio, rehabilitation center and computer labs as well as classrooms.

The College of Health and Human Development offers more than 600 courses to the 2,500 students with majors at the college. Undergraduate and advanced degrees are awarded in child development, communications disorders and sciences, family environmental sciences, health sciences, leisure studies and recreation and kinesiology--the study of the body's movement.

Through its Institute for Health and Human Development, the college offers programs for the disabled, elderly and at-risk children and their families.

University officials are expected to gather again on Sept. 22 to formally celebrate the reopening of Jerome Richfield Hall, which had been closed since the Jan. 17, 1994, temblor.

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