Camarillo, Calif., Feb. 26, 2013 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) has won a “2012 Project of the Year” award from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Ventura County Chapter for its new entrance road, University Drive. The annual APWA awards program recognizes outstanding projects that meet rigorous selection criteria for innovative construction, safety, environmental awareness, cost and materials efficiency, effective community relations, and overcoming challenges. University Drive was recognized in the “Historical Restoration/Preservation” category, which honors projects aimed at adaptive reuse or maintaining historic features.

The four-lane campus entrance road opened in May, completing an 18-month construction project designed to accommodate the eventual growth of the campus to 15,000 full-time equivalent students. University Drive serves as CI’s main artery, connecting Lewis Road to the central campus at Santa Barbara Avenue.

The ¾-mile road offers a scenic entrance to the campus that integrates well with the natural surroundings. It incorporates an expansive landscaped median; abundant native plants and trees; bike and walking paths; a pedestrian bridge; and sweeping views of the surrounding agricultural fields and the Santa Monica Mountains. The road also reflects CI’s commitment to sustainability, with its high efficiency lighting, roadway surface of recycled tires, and bioswales that capture and clean storm water runoff.
“The University prides itself on its stewardship of the rich natural, cultural, and historic resources contained within our campus,” said Alan Paul, the project’s design manager and CI’s Associate Director of Planning, Design & Construction. “This award is symbolic of the success of our efforts to respect our incredible site and architectural assets while growing as a vibrant learning community.”

The project had its share of challenges. CI’s Operations, Planning & Construction team surmounted obstacles – including archeological finds, endangered species, recurrent flooding, and poor structural soils – to complete the road on time and within budget. Faculty and students from CI’s Anthropology and Environmental Science & Resource Management programs helped with necessary archaeological investigations and the restoration of a riparian habitat of the Least Bell’s Vireo, an endangered bird found nesting in the area.

“The teamwork across numerous consulting firms, government agencies, community groups, University departments, and the enthusiastic volunteer efforts of the students made this project exceptional,” Paul said. “Our hope is that the new University Drive will offer a lasting expression of who we are as a university and our link with the community.”

CI will be recognized at a future APWA Chapter meeting, where it will also be invited to present the project.

For more information, contact John Gormley, Director of Planning, Design & Construction, at 805-437-3241 or

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.