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Renovations to Saxon Suites include common area, outdoor cinema space

Saxon Suites is open this fall after a year of $25 million renovations. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin)

By Jillian Frankel and Mila Abushmaies

Sept. 28, 2015 2:35 a.m.

Saxon Suites reopened this fall after UCLA Housing officials spent $25 million adding an outdoor cinema space, a barbecue pit and an LED-lit fireplace, among other renovations.

UCLA spokesperson Rebecca Kendall said the building’s laundry facilities, fire alarm systems and bathroom fixtures were also redone. Outside, newly planted drought-tolerant landscaping surrounds the area. Movies can be projected onto a new common area intended to connect the individual suites.

SPECTRUM Gallery: Looking through Saxon Suite renovations

Housing officials approved the plan during the 2013-2014 school year and chose San Diego-based Studio E Architects’ Lauren Pasion, Eric Naslund and Mathilda Bialk to lead the project.

Saxon Suites, which houses about 400 students in 192 bedrooms, had not been renovated since it was built more than 30 years ago, Kendall said. The separate commons building features study, social and office spaces and laundry facilities, among other amenities.

Daniel Settana, a second-year mathematics/economics student, said he is looking forward to using the new facilities.

“I’m excited for the outdoor movie screen,” Settana said. “I think that will be a good space to host events.”

Third-year physics student Tran Tsan, who lived in Saxon Suites during her first year at UCLA, said in an email she is happy for Saxon’s new residents, but would prefer to see the $25 million used to improve classrooms instead.

“The improvements on Saxon may ensure a great living environment, but the extra touches such as the outdoor cinema are really unnecessary,” Tsan said. “If we are paying so much money, I would like to see more (of it) going toward renovating the classrooms, some of which have outdated furnishings.”

Contributing reports by Mila Abushmaies, Bruin contributor.

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