CSU Approves Proposal to Replace CLA

CSU Approves Proposal to Replace CLA

Thumbnail image for CLA Building

The CSU Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to replace the CLA complex with a new student services building.

The board action on Tuesday, Sept. 21, sets in motion a process that will start with design proposals next year, move to the construction phase in 2013 and conclude 18 to 24 months later with a student services building that is much easier to navigate than the CLA. The money to build the facility will come from the CSU Capital Outlay Program utilizing state construction bonds. The project will not impact the university’s general fund budget.

Since its completion in 1993, the CLA complex (Building 98) has taxed operational budgets and personnel due to a number of construction flaws and mechanical system failures. The building’s initial issue involved water intrusion and required the university to litigate against the prime building contractors. A major renovation would involve overhauling the mechanical and electrical systems, reviewing and correcting ADA requirements, and bringing the building up to current seismic code. Because the cost to repair the CLA building is estimated at $80 million and would require relocating personnel during construction, Cal Poly Pomona and CSU leadership concluded that a new facility is be the best use of public funds.

“The question has become one of weighing the costs involved in renovating the CLA Building and relocating employees for 18 to 24 months, or using the funds to build a new facility,” President Ortiz said in a message to the university community. “Even after a major renovation, the CLA would remain difficult to navigate, waste internal space, be energy inefficient and subject to future mitigation issues — and would still sit atop the San Jose Fault.”

The location of the new facility will be determined during the design phase. It will most likely be smaller, requiring that some programs be relocated to other buildings on campus. The Aratani Japanese Garden will be temporarily closed during the razing of the CLA. Plans call for an expanded and improved garden in the future.

A series of answers to frequently asked questions addresses several concerns about the proposal, including timing, funding and seismic issues.