CLA: Future of an iconic campus building

By Chris Snow

Completed in 1993, the CLA building was designed in the futurist style by Antoine Predock, an architect based in New Mexico.

Predock earned the right to design the building after winning an international design competition which was set up by the university.

Though the building is synonymous with the university, it has been plagued with issues since its opening, according to the CPP website.

The building has had issues with leaking, the layout is confusing and difficult to navigate and infrastructure (beams and connections) do not meet California safety codes, as also reported by

The building also sits on top of the San Jose fault line.

These issues were considered when deciding to build what will be known as the student services building.

Though the building needs to be reinforced and sits atop a fault line, there is no reason for concern in regard to the safety of the structure.

This is according to Gregg E. Brandow, the president of a structural and civil engineering firm and a member of the CSU Seismic Review Board, who was quoted on the CPP website.

In 2008, a 5.4 earthquake struck the nearby Chino Hills area and the building suffered minor damages.

The extent of the damage was what would be expected as a result of the size and location of the tremor. Also, the California Geological Survey has not identified the fault as being active.

The decision to replace the CLA building was deemed necessary several years ago after determining that $80 million dollars would be the price tag to repair the troubled building.

After consulting with the Co-Architects, C.W. Driver (the construction company) and feedback from the staff; the proposal was accepted two years ago, and then construction began.

“There were several million dollars in necessary changes that needed to be made,” said Daniel Johnson, Director of Facilities Design and Construction. “There are serious problems with the bones of the building. It would have been too much to fix.”

Another factor that complicates the issue is that the CLA building is essentially four connected buildings.

This means there are shared utilities such as water pipes and electrical wiring, both above and underground.

For the time being, once the new building is completed, the famed building will most likely sit largely unoccupied.

The offices of the CLA building will be moving to the new structures which will be located across the street.

The student services building will be approximately 60 thousand square feet smaller.

The new building will house the registrar, cashier’s office, financial aid and other student services offices on the first floor.

Administrative and support offices will be on the second and third floors, according to the CPP website.

“Centralizing student functions into a single building located on the first floor ” a one-stop shopping experience for students ” will provide ease of access to the services that students need most.” Johnson said.

Even though the new student center is replacing the functions of the CLA building, this does not necessarily spell the end of the recognizable building. The fate of the building will ultimately be decided in the next few years.

If the building is taken down, cost will include future use of the land.

These decisions would be reached based on the desires of the campus and the CSU system’s ability to support the wishes of the university.

“Ideally, the university could use the building for something else,” Johnson said.

The CLA building

Tevin Voong / The Poly Post

The CLA building

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