Repairs Completed on Vandalized Student Housing Building

Repairs Completed on Vandalized Student Housing Building
Cal Poly Pomona has completed the rehabilitation of Vista del Sol, the Residential Suites building that sustained extensive water damage by vandals last summer.
Students will move in on Sept. 22.

After 14 months of careful planning, preparation and reconstruction, the university has completed the rehabilitation of Vista del Sol, the Residential Suites building that sustained extensive water damage by vandals last summer.

The building received a certificate of occupancy in August and is ready for students to move in on Wednesday, Sept. 22, the day before the start of fall quarter.

Rehabilitation involved demolition, air quality testing and then reconstruction of most areas of the building. About 30 percent of drywall had been removed from the building, as well as all bathroom fixtures, carpeting, showers and kitchen cabinets. Each suite was tested and cleared by two teams of environmental industrial hygienists, one working for the university and the other for the building contractor. The environmental hygienists used multiple testing criteria to confirm the integrity and safety of all spaces in Vista del Sol.

The vandalism displaced more than 200 students, who were scheduled to move in for Fall Quarter 2003.  Many of the students were relocated to the Shilo Inn Hotel in Pomona for a majority of the academic year, eventually being reassigned to other campus housing as space became available. Damage estimates on the building are unknown and were assumed by the general contractor through insurance carried on the facility while under construction. University operating losses are currently assessed at $2.2 million, with most of the losses coming from off-campus hotel accommodations, storage costs of furnishings, environmental hygienist fees and extensions of construction management contracts. The other Residential Suites building, Vista Bonita, was undamaged and opened as planned last fall.

“After many long hours and a lot of hard work by a lot of people, it is as if Vista del Sol had never been touched by the vandals,” says Doug Freer, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “It was crucial that we took the appropriate time required to deliver a residential facility that we are certain is safe and ready for our students. We are excited about the upcoming opening and sharing this state-of-the-art housing community with our students, who have waited so patiently while repairs occurred over the last year.”

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, private patios/balconies, and every room is equipped with high-speed Internet and satellite television. Each building is also equipped with a two-story general student classroom, which includes a private conference room and mezzanine.

Vista del Sol was near completion and awaiting the delivery of furniture when it was vandalized in summer 2003. An unknown suspect(s) broke in sometime between Tuesday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, July 16, at 6 a.m. The vandal(s) entered nearly every unit in Vista del Sol, 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 the next morning.

Edge Development, the general contractor, 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 Residential Suites should contact University Police at (909) 869-3070.