It’s been almost a year since students were abruptly sent home at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, many renovations and building modifications have been made, some related to COVID-19 safety.
On Scripps’ campus, Malott Dining Commons is undergoing COVID-19 modifications. According to Josh Reeder, Scripps’ executive director of facilities management and auxiliary operations, the work “includes reenvisioning the main servery to allow for social distancing while creating immediate grab-and-go options … plexiglass, sneeze guards and touchless equipment to safely prepare and serve meals.”
Further modifications have been made in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. These include reduced seating capacity, which allows the tables to be placed farther apart and plexiglass partitions on the tables. The college is also planning to add more outdoor seating “to encourage dining in Seal Court and on Bowling Green Lawn.”
Inside the kitchens, there are more changes aimed at protecting staff, including touchless faucets and new prep stations that allow for more distancing.
At Pitzer College, Mead Hall is being renovated. According to a Feb. 11 email to the Pitzer community, Mead Hall will have new air conditioning and heating systems, new furniture and renovated stairwells, among other upgrades.
The exterior of the residence hall was repainted, and some of the murals on the residence hall were painted over, causing some controversy among students. In a separate email to students, the Campus Aesthetics Committee clarified the process regarding the painting over of certain murals.
“These were unapproved murals and in bad condition, it was CAC’s input that the artwork may be painted over in order to allow for new murals to be painted where permitted,” the email said.
At Pomona College, a new athletic, recreation and wellness center is under construction to replace the old Rains Center, built in 1989. The old building is currently being demolished, with its interior “completely gutted” for renovation, according to Pomona spokesperson Patricia Vest. The new building will keep the same name and occupy the same space on campus.
The demolition, announced to faculty in early January, is underway while campus is closed to prevent campus disruption from the subsequent noise, dust and traffic of the construction site, Vest said.
Pomona is also upgrading its facilities to better align with COVID-19 safety protocols. These upgrades include changes in airflow and filtration, automatic and “hands-free” door openers and hand sanitizer stations, some of which were added months earlier in the hopes of an in-person spring.
At Harvey Mudd College, there are two “significant” infrastructure changes on the HMC campus — a three-array solar carport on the eastern edge of campus and the McGregor Computer Science Center at the corner of Platt Boulevard and N. Dartmouth Avenue, according to HMC spokesperson Judy Augsburger.
Located at the east end of campus, the carport is expected to provide roughly 10 percent of HMC’s electricity, according to Augsburger.
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The McGregor Computer Science Center was announced in late 2019 and is set to open summer 2021. It will serve as the home of the computer science department, which currently does not have a dedicated space.
The McGregor Center will also house a new makerspace with equipment for 3D printing, laser cutting, composites, sewing, soldering, electronics and more. The preexisting wood and metal shops will be relocated so that all three spaces can “work together as one creativity hub for students,” Augsburger said via email.
The new building also has an outward-facing staircase intended to serve as a main entry point into HMC from the wider Claremont community. “The outward-facing grand stair acts as an invitation to the community to come and explore what the Harvey Mudd campus has to offer,” Augsburger said.
Another change to expect is the new Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies, which will replace the Huntley Bookstore. The Huntley Bookstore was bought by Claremont Graduate University from a gift they received of $14 million.