Cal Poly Pomona is slated to see big changes with a flurry of construction activity getting under way soon.
From a new Student Services Building to a parking structure nearing completion to intersection changes designed to improve safety and circulation through campus, the university will look very different in the near future.
Student Services Building
Construction is expected to start next month on the Student Services Building, which will eventually house the offices and services of the CLA tower. Parking lot C will be fenced off beginning June 13 and closed to accommodate construction of the new student hub, expected to be completed in fall 2018.
Lot C was picked for the site of the new building because of its central location on campus.
“It’s proximity to existing student services functions and its key location to the core of campus is why it was chosen,” says Dan Johnson, director of Facilities Design & Construction. “This is where people come to campus, so it has to be a relatively prominent location. The CLA Building is simply not conducive to a one-stop-service environment.”
Plans to replace the existing CLA tower go back several years, fueled by President Emeritus J. Michael Ortiz’s desire to better centralize student services.
The tower also sits on an earthquake fault, which makes any retrofitting or remodeling very costly, and has serious mechanical, waterproofing and technical deficiencies, he adds.
The new $78 million project will look much different than the CLA tower as well. The airy 138,000-square-foot structure will feature two buildings – one three stories and the other two – under one billowing roof. It will have several design features that are in step with the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability, Johnson says.
It will programmatically and spatially accommodate all student services in one place including enrollment, registration, financial aid and cashier services.
Changes to Parking
The addition of the new building will alter where faculty, staff and students park.
Once construction is completed, Lot C will be reconfigured to include 250 parking spaces, a new information kiosk, and improved circulation and landscaping features that will complement the newly constructed building, Johnson says. When the lot closes in June, the majority of faculty and staff will park in lots F4 and F8. The remaining F lots will still be for student use. A temporary information booth will be set up in Lot F8 to assist visitors to campus.
Parking Structure 1 also will continue to be designated as a student lot.
Parking Structure 2
The university’s second parking structure, formerly Lot K, will be finished and open for student use in early August, Johnson says. The new Parking Structure 2, located next to iPoly High School, will feature 1,825 spaces.
It is smaller than the six-level garage next to Lot C and was built just one floor above ground level on purpose, says Mike Biagi, director of Parking & Transportation Services.
“It’s designed to preserve the views in the area,” he says. “We didn’t want to build a parking structure that would dwarf the high school complex. It’s meant to be built long and low.”
Also underway are road improvements designed to improve circulation around campus.
Right turn lanes are being added at the intersection of South Campus Drive and West Temple Avenue. At that same location, the length of the left turn is being increased, Johnson says.
At Temple and University Drive, a right-turn-only lane from Temple to University will be added. In addition, a new traffic signal will be placed at the entrance of the new parking structure off University Drive so that all vehicles can make a protected left turn into the structure. These changes, plus improvements in and around iPoly High will help circulation in the area, he says.
Also, as part of construction of the Student Services Building, a future signal is planned for University Drive and Kellogg Drive, one of the required environmental mitigation measures for the project.
Changes also are in the works to aid with pedestrian circulation and safety from the parking lots to and around the new Student Services Building once construction is complete, Johnson adds.
Caltrans to Widen 10 Freeway
An upcoming project that is not campus-driven but will have a major impact on the university is the planned widening of Interstate 10 for the construction of 10 miles of carpool lanes on the freeway.
Caltrans is set to begin working this month on the three-year project, which will involve widening the highway 30 feet and encroaching on some of the university’s land. The $195 million project will add a 5.2-mile carpool lane in each direction between Citrus Street in West Covina and State Route 57. It is part of a larger 40-mile project that extends from downtown Los Angeles to San Bernardino County
Caltrans will begin with making improvements to the Kellogg Drive underpass and altering the on- and off- ramps. The Kellogg freeway exit will remain open, but lanes on the highway will likely be reduced to two lanes for the first year or two, Johnson says. The freeway improvements are expected to be completed in 2019.
Future Housing Plans
In addition to the ongoing and upcoming construction, future plans for changing the face of the campus include new student residence halls and a dining commons. The project calls for 1,000 beds for the first phase and the realignment of Kellogg Drive.
With the old residence halls and the Los Olivos dining commons aging, new housing is needed, Johnson says, adding that the project will be done in phases to ensure the best use of the land available.
“The realignment of Kellogg Drive will provide a new gateway to the campus,” he says. “Those entering will see the Student Services Building.”