By Elizabeth Hernandez and Christina Manuel
Final touches are being done on the new student services building expected to be operational in January 2019.
With construction near completion, the Student Services Building (SSB) is expected to be open for the first day of the spring 2019 semester, Jan. 19.
With 140 people working on the building on a daily basis, the construction phase of the building is complete and project workers are currently putting together the final touches. These details include installing electrical light fixtures, cable lines, finishing outside amphitheater-like seating, carpeting and other minor details.
The SSB will be completed this fall semester as planned. It is expected to be completed Nov. 30 with a certificate of occupancy and operationally completed in January 2019.
The total cost of the SSB project amounts to $73 million when the original estimated cost was $78 million.
“The reason the [Student Services] Building is being constructed is so that we can provide services to students in one location, at one level, to make it much easier to deal with than the CLA (Classroom Laboratory and Administrative Building),” said Bruyn Bevans, senior project manager of facilities, planning, design and construction.
Construction on the 138,00 square-foot SSB began in 2017.
Bevans described the smaller west wing of the building at near 98 percent complete. It will sit vacantly until the east wing, which is 90-92 percent complete, is finished, so both can be evaluated by the state fire marshal.
The east portion of the SSB consists of three stories and will house President Soraya M. Coley, Provost Sylvia A. Alva, Chief of Staff Nicole Hawkes and the Division of University Advancement on the third floor. The third floor is the least completed of the floors at this point.
President Coley’s office is the largest office, with a balcony overlooking the horse stables and the Bronco Student Center. President Coley toured the new building last week.
Academic, administrative and some student services will be located on the second floor, while the first floor will have a majority of the student services including financial aid, admissions, transfer and graduate assistance.
“I hope that it is a benefit to the campus community and that all of the great things that will be held inside will be made aware to the students, [including] all of the services it has inside, because I didn’t know anything about it and now I want to know more about it,” said Mary Oseguera, a first-year music education student.
A smaller landscape in the middle of the building that can be easily seen through the large windows is surrounded by the east building. Work on the interior landscape is still underway.
The west wing of the building is two stories and will house the human resource departments and be used for conferences.
The SSB consists of large windows for the outer walls, pop-out roof skylights and a perforated roof connecting the two buildings to allow natural light, unlike the CLA.
Bevans described the SSB as a bridge uniting the historic parts of campus, such as the horse stables, while giving the campus a cutting-edge look.
According to the Cal Poly Pomona SSB website, the shape of the wavy roof was inspired by the San Gabriel mountains and foothills that provide a backdrop to the campus.
The interesting shape of the roof was a difficult construction task according to Bevans and required extreme precision, as it is much more complex than a flat roof.
Bioswales, which collect and recycle rainwater by removing debris from the water, are located throughout the outside berms.
A 177-spot parking lot is located directly outside the SSB and also allows for 15-minute parking and fire access. Another coat of asphalt will be added before opening.
Parallel to the parking lot, the SSB will have a space on the south side of the building for student drop-off.
“We haven’t heard from parking and transportation if they’re [the Bronco Express] going to run through there [the south end] but it would make sense for them to do that because it’s an easy place to drop off and it’s safer for students to get dropped off,” Bevans said.
Future plans for the CLA are yet to be decided. As of now, administration will move from the tower to the new SSB, leaving the CLA unoccupied.
“But until that [move] happens, there really isn’t a push to do anything with it [the CLA] because we’re still using that building,” Bevans said. “Can it be reprogrammed, used for something else? Can it be retrofitted seismically, which is what it needs to have happen because it’s on the list, and then [there’s the question of] what should happen with it after that.”
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