By Jeline Abutin
The iconic but flawed CLA Building at Cal Poly Pomona is in the process of being replaced.
Built atop the San Jose Fault, the CLA Building will be replaced by the Student Services Building.
“There has been some utility work that was done over the summer,” said Walter Marquez, the associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Management. “The construction will begin after the Board of Trustees approves the financing.”
According to Marquez, the building will cost an estimated $82 million, and the financing will be provided through the CSU Bond Authority, which is funded by the Board of Trustees through the issue of bonds.
“Right now, we are scheduled to seek the Board of Trustees’ financial approval in May of 2016,” said Marquez. “We are well into design and well into the programing of the interior of the building.”
The new building, which is scheduled for completion by 2018, will house current program elements from the CLA Building; however, it will have a different look from its predecessor.
“The exterior of the building, as our architects describe it, is set to resemble more of the rolling hills,” said Marquez.
The Student Services Building will be located in Parking Lot C and will consist of two separate buildings under one roof.
Besides a different look, the Student Services Building’s interior will be geared towards student-friendly accessibility.
“The building is designed with a focus on students in regards to how students have to move in and around the building,” said Marquez. “Part of the challenge with the CLA Building is having to move from floor to floor in order to accomplish a particular task. The desire of the new building is to create a much more student-friendly facility, from a logistical standpoint, from the interior.”
However, the replacement of the CLA Building has sparked mixed feelings among students since the building is considered a landmark of CPP.
“The CLA looks nice from the outside, but it’s a pain on the inside,” said Aaron Lucela, a fourth-year hospitality management student. “It just sucks tearing down our only landmark, but if it’s not user friendly, then why do we still have it? It’s just a pointy building.”
“I’ve gotten lost in the CLA before, so I feel like the user friendly design will be helpful,” said Brandon Busante, a third-year graphic design student. “The new design also looks nice, but it does suck that our landmark, the thing that’s on a lot of our marketing material, is being tossed away. The CLA is a big part of our image, but it would be nice to get new buildings on campus.”
In an effort to provide student-friendly accessibility, the new building will also have three floors with convenient layouts.
“This building is designed to have great functionality, and it will be focused on providing student-centered services,” said Cecilia Santiago-Gonzelez, the director of Enrollment and One-Stop Services. “How many times have students gone up and down the CLA Building to an office trying to take care of university business? This building, if you look at the plans, will have a one-stop student service center on the first floor.”
Across from the one-stop student service center will be a prospective student center, where incoming students who are applying or interested in CPP can learn about the university as well as the application process, according to Santiago-Gonzelez.
The first floor of the Student Services Building will also house Student Accounting and Cashiering Services.
“The bottom floor is really a student hub,” said Santiago-Gonzelez. “A lot of the services and resources that students need to stay enrolled at the university will be located there. The Veterans Resource Center and Orientation Services will be housed in the new building as well. The second and third levels will be mostly administration offices or processing units.”
In preparation for the new building, the One-Stop Student Services, which will be co-located with the Registrar’s Office, will launch in the winter quarter, according to Santiago-Gonzelez.
“We are going to emulate what will happen in the Student Services Building by providing integrated and centralized information and services to students,” said Santiago-Gonzelez. “It’s really in preparation for the opening of the new building, so these are the types of things we’re working on that I think will greatly support the new vision of the [Student Services] Building.”
Courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona
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