Artist's rendering of new quadArtist’s rendering of the new Student Union Quad.

Student Union Quad Gets $8 Million Facelift (and Tummy Tuck)

Buffalo State’s $8.2 million renovation of the Student Union Quad will provide improved amenities—both above and below the surface—for students, faculty, and staff.

While the campus community will be drawn to the additional green space and expanded outdoor seating upon completion in late fall 2010, the rehabilitation project also focuses on the critical maintenance of power lines from nearly 10 different utility systems located underneath the quad.

“The need for this project had been lingering for a few years now,” said Steven Shaffer, design and construction manager with Facilities Planning. “In addition to the deteriorating pavement, we had been having multiple utility interruptions in recent years. We knew we wouldn’t want to replace the pavement without replacing all of the utilities underneath.”

Virtually all campus utilities are found underneath the quad’s surface, including high- and low-voltage electrical lines, telephone, security, fire, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and steam lines.

“The utilities are very old; some are older than the four buildings surrounding the quad,” Shaffer said.

During initial excavations, contractors also discovered the bed from a roadway that used to cross campus prior to the construction of Cleveland Hall and Bulger Communication Center, Shaffer said.

Another significant element to the current project is the creation of a new storm-water retention and filtration pond adjacent to Lot Y, in accordance with state Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines.

“Environmental guidelines state that whenever we disturb one acre of land, we have to treat the storm water associated with the project before it is discharged into an existing waterway,” Shaffer said. “All of the storm water from the quad will be routed to the pond to be treated before being discharged into Scajaquada Creek.”

While the infrastructure improvements will be obscured upon the quad’s completion, the additional amenities will not. A new outdoor café at the northwest corner of the quad highlights the project, which will also feature contemporary walking paths and enhanced illumination in addition to the added green space and outdoor seating. The new café will be connected to the recently renovated Student Union Retail Dining Center.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to visit the construction Web site for updates and advisories about this and other campus construction projects. Questions about campus construction may be e-mailed to