University Housing to begin expansion

By Julian Mitchell

University housing will be getting a major makeover with the construction and opening of new residence halls by the start of Fall 2019.

The changes will be focused on the newly done Kellogg Drive and by the area of the new Student Services and Administration building.

“These new facilities will put more students on campus all day, where studies show they have the greatest chance for success,” said President Soraya M. Coley during the 2017 Fall Conference.

The existing plan for housing began in 2015, when the list of students wait listed for on campus housing began to grow.

However, the initial plan for housing was first put forward in 2011, but was shot down due to conflicts of interest.

Currently the list has expanded to roughly 1000 students, according to Director of Housing Operations, Todd London.

The current resident halls reside on active fault lines and are prohibited from being worked on any further in that location, in addition to being fairly expensive.

“The old residence halls were becoming too expensive to maintain,” said London.

The new living quarters to be located on Kellog Drive and Eucalyptus Lane will take away approximately five acres from the pre-existing Arabian horse pastures.

The new halls will be within two brand new eight-story buildings, containing in total about 980 beds.

These halls will be for freshman only, while transfer and returning students will be located in the pre-existing suites.

The next major milestone for the project was set to occur Dec. 15, when the university hoped to receive final permit approval by the Fire Marshall.

London also stated that he was excited for the new features of the halls as compared to the old ones, such as larger community areas including to “living rooms” on each floor as well as a large project room on the ground floor.

Each wing will have 5 restrooms, including one handicap accessible restroom per wing, so students no longer have to share bathrooms with upward of 40 other students.

Coupled with the internal improvements over the old dorms, the new residence halls also expand outside, adding 500 more parking spots as well as a new sand volleyball court.

As for the old halls, they won’t be destroyed necessarily, but officially they will go “offline,” said London.

He stated that the University has not decided what to do with the old resident halls, but could be used in a multitude of ways.

According to London, the exterior of the new halls should be completed by July 2018 and the projected move in date for all brand new furniture will be July 2019.

One large effect of living on campus that CPP hopes to see is improved grades and school spirit.

According to a study from the Center for Postsecondary Research at the Indiana University School of Education, students who live on campus spend more time per week studying and participating in “co-curricular activities,” than those who live off campus.

The study also showed that while students living on campus studied more and had more down time than those who were living off campus.

Another large addition to the renovation project is the new dining commons that will be constructed to partner with the living quarters.

“We want to trend for the future with a blending of different tastes,” said Senior General Manager of Dining Services, David Corral.

The new dining commons will focus on a sense of inclusivity for all palettes, including vegan options in every station as well as meat alternatives.

The plan for the building design has several different hubs for students to get their meals, including a taqueria as well as a “brain food” station, which will feature study oriented foods such as berries and nuts.

“We want to promote mental health, in addition to not having students feel boxed in,” said Corral.

Another step towards the future will be the planned implementation of the “Eatwell Program.”

The likely online platform will be a “communication vessel” for students as well as ideal dining options for all types of students.

“Typically we have had one healthy ‘option.’ Now we want there to be healthy options for every type of person with many types of food,” said Corral.

Additionally, Corral emphasized that this is not a diet planner, simply something to help students figure out how to get the most out of their meals.

CPP will begin accepting applications for freshman into the new residence halls starting Jan. 2019.

The proposed architectural plan for the project would result in two hotel-like structures with a smaller dining commons nearby

Courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona

The proposed architectural plan for the project would result in two hotel-like structures with a smaller dining commons nearby

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