Cal Poly Pomona 2040 Master Plan advances

By Reyes Navarrete, April 30, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona held a virtual Environmental Impact Report scoping meeting for the public April 25 as part of the 2040 Campus Master Plan Update process which outlines many projects including renovations to Building 98, the library, the College of Environmental Design, the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, the Bronco Student Center, new traffic infrastructure, as well as a new replacement facility for the Children’s Center.

The meeting, held via Zoom, was an opportunity to inform the public as well as answer questions about the environmental review process for projects outlined in the 2040 Campus Master Plan Update. This won’t be the last opportunity for the public to comment on the Environmental Impact Report before final approval.

The Campus Master Plan is a long-term guide for developments of facilities and infrastructure needed to support current students, faculty and staff as well as projected student population growth over a planning horizon. All 23 campuses within the California State University system are required by the Board of Trustees to periodically evaluate its campus master plan to determine changes.

The three areas of development outlined in CPP’s 2040 Campus Master Plan Update include academic core improvements as in building renovations, student life improvements such as athletic and housing facility updates and campus-wide improvements such as pedestrian malls and public transportation hubs.

The campus has deferred maintenance that needs updating, according to Danny Wu, executive director of campus planning, transportation and sustainability, who spoke to the priorities outlined in the Campus Master Plan.

“A lot of our buildings are more than 30 years old and so we have a lot of needs that were identified through our facilities conditions assessment,” Wu said. “And so, we focus on the ones that have immediate, life safety considerations or accessibility needs. Those are usually top of mind, but we also factor in buildings that have immediate accreditation concerns as well.”

As identified in the 2040 Campus Master Plan, the San Jose fault  line that runs through east to west of campus pose constraints to future developments. The library and Building 98 would require seismic reinforcements to its infrastructure. For these projects and those planned for total renovation, a separate surge space would need to be organized for temporary relocation of staff and faculty to work while their respective buildings are under construction.

The last time the 2040 Campus Master Plan was updated was in 2017, but in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause in development. According to Stacy Tran, senior campus planner for CPP’s facilities planning and management, before the pandemic, outreach efforts for the campus master plan included over 44 meetings and workshops held with the campus community as well as 20 meetings with outside stakeholders including the city of Pomona and Foothill Transit to develop the current version of the master plan.

Students walking in front of the library as it is currently. | Reyes Navarrete

Development has resumed as of this year, and the team is beginning the environmental analysis phase, which is the last step of the master planning process before the Board of Trustees approval and the final Master Plan can be adopted.

The Environmental Impact Report is required by the state under the California Environmental Quality Act which requires CPP represented by campus planning, transportation and sustainability to disclose the project’s potential impacts on the environment to the public.

“So, this master plan, by getting its approval through the Chancellor’s Office and before that the EIR approved, it’s really to allow the campus the sort of entitlement to build up to a certain amount of square footage or to a certain amount of enrollment,” Wu said. “But it doesn’t guarantee that these projects will actually be built because that’s subject to funding and other factors.”

In accordance with CEQA, a 30-day Notice of Preparation was issued April 8 and the team will receive feedback on the scope of EIR until May 8 at 5 p.m. According to Tran, the Notice of Preparation is to notify the public that an environmental impact report will be prepared and to solicit input on it.

“It’s (the public) providing us input on perhaps historical type of events that perhaps we wouldn’t know, for instance, maybe the city of Pomona would provide us with like, ‘well are you aware X, Y and Z happened’ and that may have potential impacts on like geology or something, so perhaps you guys want to look into that a little bit deeper,” Tran said. “So, it’s those types of things that we may or may not know that would kind of help us shape how the Environmental Impact Report is prepared.”

The input from the scope meeting and written feedback submitted will be considered in preparing a draft of the EIR, which could be completed as early as this winter, according to Tran. The draft version of the report would be supported by various technical studies and released to the public for review and comment in early 2025, according to the campus planning timeline.

To stay up to date on the 2040 Campus Master Plan Update, visit the university website.

Feature image courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona

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