As students began to arrive on Pomona’s campus three weeks ago, many may have been wondering, “What’s with all the black fences?” It is difficult to miss this most recent addition to the Pomona scenery, as the college has fenced off much of the school’s South
Campus, including Dartmouth St. and 4th St, for construction.
a project led by Pomona’s Office of Facilities and Campus Services that
includes repurposing several parking lots on South Campus in an effort
to create a more pedestrian-friendly campus. The goal of the project is to provide students more freedom to walk around campus. By removing some vehicle-accessible roads, including Dartmouth St. and 4th St., the college hopes students and faculty will find it easier and more welcoming to walk around campus.The project began in late August, just as students were arriving.
proposed ten years ago. The new facility, which includes ultra-efficient lighting fixtures and native landscaping throughout the grounds, contains two levels of parking with 600 spaces and a lacrosse-size athletic field on the roof. The Office of Facilities and
Campus Services was able to take on this most recent construction project because of the space
freed up by the excess parking lots.
having to dodge cars,” said Bob Robinson, Assistant Vice President and
Director of the Office of Facilities and Campus Services.
Improvements between Harwood and Mudd-Blaisdell dorms will include a large
recreational area, a pergola with a barbecue, a hammock garden (something
students have requested for some time), and a social area with tables and_x000D_
chairs that students may use to gather or study. The seating areas
will all have electrical floor outlets for students to take full advantage
of the space. The City of Claremont is currently reviewing the plans for this area
and the administration hopes to complete the construction by the end of the semester.
Other construction taking place includes the renovation behind Big Bridges
Auditorium that includes an expanded pedestrian walkway between Bridges and Rains Athletic Center, and, to the south, an outdoor venue where the college can hold campus-wide events. Pomona hopes these
developments will provide a short-term resolution for the use of that
space that will not reach too far into its pockets.
“Ultimately, there needs to be a long run renovation of Bridges,” Robinson said.
Fourth St. will eventually become part of an expansion plan for Marston
Quad. The design for this area has not yet been determined, but it is
expected to begin in October. The college decided to reopen 4th St. last week because the details have not yet been ironed out.
“When you’re changing an iconic place like Marston Quad, it requires a
great deal of insight from a variety of people,” Robinson said.
The college has also set aside a parking lot next to Seaver Theatre to be the location for a new studio art building. The 25
million dollar project should be completed by late 2013.
Excluding the new studio art building, the renovations were guided by a
large amount of student input. The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) reviewed
the basic plans for the sites last semester and gave their suggestions
for the new communal areas. In particular, the idea for the hammock
garden originated from South Campus residents, whose proposal last year led to the development of a hammock garden program on North Campus.
While the renovations between Mudd-Blaisdell and Harwood are
underway with a late-November to early-December completion date, the
other projects will take more time to complete. Once the designing
process for 4th St. comes to an end, the college foresees a June
start date at the earliest. Pomona expects to finish the project_x000D_
behind Bridges sometime in the coming year.
Unfortunately, the construction outside the residence halls has
negatively affected some students. Despite efforts to complete the
“noisy work” before the start of classes, some students have complained
about the din caused by the ongoing construction.
“It was really noisy; every morning at 6:30 they’d be working, [and] I couldn’t sleep,” said Robert Ventura PO ’14.
Some students have expressed concern for the sustainability of the
project: increasing green space also means increasing water use. However, Robinson assured students that the developments include a_x000D_
very small percentage of grass space, with California native plants
comprising most of the greenery. Pomona has made sustainability a
focus as well by installing storm drains to capture runoff.