|An unknown suspect(s) recently vandalized the new residential suites. University officials and project contractors are diligently working to assess and repair the damages, which are expected to exceed $1 million.|
The new residential suites that were nearing completion and set to open this fall were vandalized last week. Cal Poly Pomona staff and project contractors are diligently working to assess and repair the damages, which are expected to exceed $1 million.
An unknown suspect(s) broke into one of the two residential suite buildings sometime between Tuesday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, July 16, at 6 a.m. The vandal(s) entered more than 50 suite units, maneuvered the kitchen sink faucets away from the sink and turned on the water full blast. The suspect(s) then ran several large hoses from the ground level through the windows of the upper level suite bedrooms, and turned those on as well. Water ran throughout the building for approximately eight hours before the construction crew discovered it on Wednesday morning.
Construction of the vandalized building had been nearly completed and was awaiting the delivery of furniture. As a result of the flooding, all of the 205 bedrooms in the building suffered damage to walls, ceilings, floors, kitchen cabinets and counters, and carpeting.
?We are all stunned by this senseless act of vandalism against the university community,? says Doug Freer, assistant vice president for Student Auxiliary Services. ?While the extent of the damage and a revised completion schedule will not be certain for about a week, this criminal act has done nothing but strengthen our resolve to complete this important project for our students in the most timely and efficient way possible.?
Edge Development Inc., the general contractor, is responsible for the security of the site and buildings while they are still under construction. Edge Development?s insurance company has already been on site to assess the damage and a water extraction specialist has been hired to begin the process of drying out the building. Once completed, the university will receive a certificate that confirms complete mold abatement and dryness.
After the building has been dried, subcontractors and university officials will compile damage reports and develop a repair schedule.
As a contingency in case the building is not ready for a Fall Quarter opening, University Housing Services will begin the process of identifying an emergency housing plan for the 205 students who were set to live in the building. This plan could include the use of off-campus hotels and/or apartment complexes.
The second residential building suffered no damage and is on track to open for the fall quarter, says Freer.
The University Police Department, lead by Interim Chief Jerry Lipson, will continue a criminal investigation of the vandalism/felony burglary of the residential suites. Edge Development is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible. Those who have any information about vandalism of the suites should contact University Police at (909) 869-3070; Terry Vernon, construction manager, at (909) 377-9042; or Steve Mitchell, project superintendent at (909) 839-0450. For more information about the residential suites or housing, contact University Housing Services in building 59 at (909) 869-3307.
Construction of the residential suites began in May 2002. The $26.5 million project consists of 111 units in two buildings, housing 410 students. Each suite includes a living room, kitchenette area, bedrooms, full-size bathrooms, additional storage space and private patios/balconies. Each building is also equipped with a two-story general student classroom, which includes a private conference room and mezzanine.