California State University San Marcos on Monday begins two weeks of events for students, faculty and the local community to celebrate the opening of its new $44 million student union building.

University officials expect the new four-story, 90,000-square-foot-structure, funded by student fees, to become “the new heart of campus and hub of campus life.”

“The USU was designed with the input of students and is all about serving students,” said senior Dominica Ranieri, chair of a student-led advisory board. “The new space brings a new vibe to campus, and will help create a stronger sense of community and collaborative spirit.”

Located near the center of the university between Kellogg Library and Chavez Plaza, the student union features new dining options, an open-air amphitheater, a student activity center with game lounge, a rooftop garden and patio, and a 9,000-square-foot-ballroom.

University President Karen Haynes will cut a ribbon to officially open the building at noon on Tuesday.

Special events over the next two weeks include an outdoor movie night Wednesday in the union’s amphitheater, an event highlighting the building’s unique environmental sustainability features on April 24, and an alumni casino night on April 25. More information about the grand-opening events is available online.

— From a CSUSM press release

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.