Living on campus is soon going to look very different for freshmen, with Cal Poly Pomona preparing to break ground on a residential community featuring eight-story residence halls, a dining commons, a community garden and common areas for socializing.
The project, which is a replacement for the aging residence halls and the Los Olivos dining facility, is expected to be complete in fall 2019 and will substantially remake the southern end of the core campus. Two new halls, which in their first phase include 980 beds, will be among the tallest buildings at the university. A new dining hall will have a marketplace-type vibe and will accommodate 600 diners at a time. The site will also include a sand volleyball court and a parking lot.
To accommodate the project, Kellogg Drive will be shifted eastward, allowing residents of the new community to walk to the Bronco Commons, the BRIC, the new Student Services Building (coming in fall 2018) and most of the academic buildings without crossing a major street. The new housing will blend seamlessly with the existing Residential Suites to create a cohesive housing district on campus.
The realignment of Kellogg Drive eastward will add about 16 acres of buildable land, and about half will be used for Phase I and a temporary parking lot of 400 spaces. The remaining 8 acres will be open space and set aside for possible construction projects in the future.
Approval of the $185-million project came at a meeting of the Cal State University Board of Trustees on Feb. 1. Funding for the project will come from several sources that include the sale of bonds, university housing and parking reserve funds, and contributions from the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation.
Living on Campus has Benefits
Studies show that students who live on campus perform better academically and drop out of school at significantly lower rates than peers who live off-campus. They also find greater opportunities to grow socially and culturally and develop leadership skills.
“We recognize that today’s students are looking for experiences that complement their academic journey when they attend college. They’re here to learn, build friendships and have experiences that will benefit them throughout their lives,” says Chris Chisler, associate vice president for student affairs. “The new residence halls are an investment in the future of our students and the university.”
Since the 2000s, Cal Poly Pomona has made on-campus housing a priority. The university built the Residential Suites, which added 1,000 more beds to campus, and has modernized existing facilities.
The new halls are part of a two-phase plan intended to replace the aging residence halls along University Drive, which were built in the ‘50s, ’60s and ’70s, and need about $30 million in deferred maintenance. When both phases of the new freshmen community are complete, they will increase the university’s freshman housing capacity by over 200 beds, from 1,400 to 1,650, helping ease the demand for on-campus housing, which has been waitlisted in recent years.
Throughout the process of planning the new housing community, the university has worked closely with the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture, the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, and outside experts to ensure the needs of both the program and the horses would continue to be met. The expert hired by the university recommended several improvements that would enhance the nutritional quality of the pastures, including a new, more efficient irrigation system and upgraded fencing, as well as shade structures for the horses themselves. To minimize the impact the project will have on the size of the pastures, eight acres of land currently used for grazing cattle will be allocated for use by the Arabian Horse Center.
With the final approval of the project by the Cal State University Board of Trustees on Feb. 1, the university will begin moving quickly so the first phase (the dining hall and two residence halls with 980 beds) can open by August 2019.
- March 2017: The first step of re-fencing the pastures to make way for the Kellogg Drive realignment expected to begin. The pastures will need to be plowed, re-seeded and watered.
- Spring 2017 – January 2018: Construction on the realigned Kellogg Drive and site preparation for the new halls and dining commons begins.
- Fall 2017: Construction begins on Phase I of the residence halls and dining facility
- August 2019: Phase I opens to residents
- 2022: Phase II opens to residents
Details about the new housing are available online at www.cpp.edu/futurehousing/.
Information on the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center can be found at www.wkkelloggarabianhorsecenter.com/.