Lyle Center receives $5.38 million grant from Chancellor’s Office to update facilities

The Cal Poly Pomona Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies has secured funding from the Chancellor’s Office for much needed improvements. The project budget of $5.38 million will be used to restore the building’s outer wooden envelope, replace old windows and outfit the ceilings with more fans and upgraded light-emitting diode (LED) lights. 

Since its conception in 1986, the Lyle Center’s mission is to be carbon neutral and energy positive by utilizing renewable resources and energy-efficient architecture and technology. According to Cal State University’s (CSU) 2017 Assessment of the 2014 Sustainability Policy, carbon neutrality is “achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.”  CPP is one of several CSU campuses to commit to carbon neutrality by 2030.

For a building to be energy positive, it means it can utilize enough solar power to provide energy back into the power grid, rather than pull directly from it.

The Lyle Center’s Interim Director Pablo La Roche’s research focuses on how to make a building “smarter,” so it can reduce the impact it has on climate change. He is part of the team that has worked to bring the incoming renovations and has recently met with the architects and project managers who are beginning to work on the bidding plans. 

Solar panels litter the Lyle Center grounds, providing the main source of energy for the classrooms, labs and residential buildings.
(Georgia Valdes | The Poly Post)

La Roche has studied the leading technology on “smart operable windows.” These windows can calculate temperature and ventilation to automatically adjust as necessary. These windows will keep the space comfortable for visitors and are efficient in energy consumption. 

“It’s helping our climate, but also Cal Poly’s long-term budget,” La Roche said. “(These improvements) are putting us on the map regarding building sustainability.” 

The Lyle Center’s buildings are surrounded by greenery alongside crops grown by students.
(Georgia Valdes | The Poly Post)

The Lyle Center provides more than just a learning space. It also provides residential halls for 24 CPP students. 

Bridget Macario is studying for her minor in regenerative studies and had the opportunity to live at the facilities for a short time. While she enjoyed the center’s tranquil quarters, she did notice some improvements could be made.

“I’m always there …. I do feel that it was built with older technology,” she said. “The windows in the (residential) restrooms are really small and the lights (are) always going out.”  

Joshua Faegin is a current resident and studies electrical engineering with an emphasis in power. This spring, he is taking the Introduction to Regenerative Studies course and is excited to see the material in action.

“It’s very beautiful up here (with) a lot of nature. (It is) a tight-knit community in comparison to the suites,” Faegin said. “I really do want to get into green energy … I think that it’s really amazing that we are actually implementing (these changes).” 

The Lyle Center allows students access to real world utilization of renewable energy. (Georgia Valdes | The Poly Post)

The Lyle Center is located on South University Drive. For more information on the Lyle Center, visit https://env.cpp.edu/rs/rs. 

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