With the help of a forklift to hoist and secure a white metal beam in place, almost 100 supporters and donors of The Collins College of Hospitality Management celebrated the construction of its expansion project.
The beam signing on Jan. 16 signaled significant progress in construction of the 12,100 square-foot building, which is expected to be completed by late 2015. Collins College Dean Lea Dopson said beam signings originated with the Scandinavians and are still practiced by steel workers at construction sites.
“This is going to be a place of learning,” she said. “This is going to be a place of celebration. This is going to be a place of hospitality.”
Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley attended the signing, as did President Emeritus Michael Ortiz.
The $10-million expansion will include two general purpose classrooms, five faculty offices, study areas, three courtyards, a student commons area, a grab-n-go restaurant and two dedicated classrooms for the school’s graduate program.
Neha Singh, director of graduate studies at The Collins College, said the master’s program has grown from an initial class of 12 students five years ago to nearly 60.
“When we thought of this program … we were answering a call of the industry,” she said. “I am very proud to say that as students are graduating, they are taking leadership positions, not only in the United States, but also worldwide.”