By Silas Hood, Feb. 22, 2022
The iconic Classroom, Laboratory and Administration Building and lower Registrar’s Building once utilized by staff and students stands abandoned under seismic safety concerns due to its location atop the San Jose fault line.
In December 2021, Cal Poly Pomona received $14.2 million from the California State University Chancellor’s Office for the removal of these two structures, improving safety on campus and clearing CPP from the seismic priority list, according to Aaron Klem, senior associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Management, in an email to The Poly Post. Acting on an accelerated time frame, Facilities Planning and Management aim for demolition to occur after commencement and prior to the start of the fall semester to minimize academic disruption.
Students shared their thoughts on the removal of the two buildings during their last semester as part of the campus.
Brishin Vijayanand | business administration student
“It’s always been here. I visited this campus back when I was like in seventh grade on a campus tour, and I saw it, and I was like ‘Ah, that’s such a cool building,’ but as soon as I heard they’re going to take it down, I feel like it’s part of the school. It’s like what makes Cal Poly so cool and how the architecture of the building and everything is, but you know I get it. New things, new beginnings, if they put a new building up, I understand it.
Marlene Ponce | industrial engineering student
“I mean, it’s kind of sad because it’s iconic you know. It’s very pointy, very tall. It’s kind of like what gives Cal Poly its character because it’s one of those features where, for me when I came here, it defined the school. There are not too many schools that can say ‘We have this monument or landmark here.’”
Bara Nabhani | chemical engineering and business administration student
“This is my first time on campus, so I actually had no idea this was happening. To be honest it sounds sad: I like it. It’s the first photo I took, the first monument of Cal Poly and its very iconic. Sad to see it go not really knowing what its purpose is, but it looks cool.”
Sarahi Verdin | gender, ethnic and multicultural studies student
“Honestly, it’s just crazy to think about. It’s kind of the staple of our school, like when everyone thinks about Cal Poly they think about the pointy building, so it’s kind of crazy that it’s going to be gone but at the same time if there’s an earthquake, you know, if it falls or anything it’s kind of dangerous. It’s mixed feelings.”
Lauren Bradford | biochemistry major
“I didn’t hear it was being taken down, but I heard that it was built on a fault line. I feel like it’s very symbolic of the campus so that’s kind of sad because you see it from the freeway and everything and it just reminds you of Cal Poly.”
Edward Keefe | aerospace engineering student
“I think the school has to for the sake of liability. You can’t allow people to keep using it while it’s on a fault line. I mean, they could either just leave it there or knock it down and put it somewhere else not on the fault line but it’s kind of tied to the image of Cal Poly, but I mean it’s on a fault line, it’s a force of nature, you either get out of the way or, you know.”
Harshita Dabir | mechanical engineering student
“Overall, the CLA building hasn’t really been constructed with a great foundation, so I think knowing that there will be a stronger foundation here where we can have a better building and maybe for different activities also is much nicer. I think the closure is pretty useful just so there are more buildings that could be constructed; there could be an extra building for engineering or an extra building for humanities or such, or another lab maybe.”
Colin Cunningham|computer engineering student
“I didn’t know that it’s going to be destroyed and I’m not too familiar with the on-campus services, so I don’t know what the building is used for but it’s a very recognizable building. I use it to locate myself on campus if I want to go from one area to another, so it’s a little sad that its being destroyed. It’s a shame it’s going to be destroyed, but it will make a lot of space for something new to be built in its place even if it’s just a big open area.”
Elsie Voong | history and anthropology student
“The CLA building is very iconic to the CPP campus. I think ideally taking it down and rebuilding it elsewhere would be the best but being here for the past four years I guess it’s not as big of a change as everyone thought it would be because there’s a new UFO building to replace it and it also has a funny name. I think overall, there’s not too many hard feelings about it … it’s a student safety hazard, so I think what should be done to it should be in the best interest of the students, and the safety of the students in the case of a major earthquake is more important than the iconic building”
Feature image by Nicolas Hernandez
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