Pomona To Move Forward with Art Studio, Laboratory Construction

The coming months will see the construction of a studio art center and the renovation of Millikan Laboratory at Pomona College, in addition to several smaller projects. 

Excavation for the new studio art building near Seaver Theatre should be underway by November, said Bob Robinson, Assistant Vice President and Director of Facilities and Campus Services at Pomona. He said that the building will be more than double the size of Rembrandt Hall. 

The demolition of Millikan Laboratory, which houses the mathematics, physics and astronomy departments, will take place this summer. 

“I think [the Millikan renovation is] going to be awesome,” said Ami Radunskaya, chair of the Department of Mathematics and a member of the Millikan renovation planning committee. “We’re all really excited.”

Millikan’s planetarium will be relocated to allow more visibility from the street. There are also plans for a walkway from College Avenue to Skyspace and a colloquium room that will replace Millikan Auditorium.

Radunskaya said that plans to renovate Millikan Laboratory, built in 1958, have been discussed for 12 to 15 years, and that new facilities are particularly needed for the physics department.

“The labs are very inadequate,” she said. “It’s really a functional thing for the physicists.”

Both projects are expected to take about 16 to 18 months.

At the same time as the Millikan renovation, the Pomona College Museum of Art will be relocated to the Seeley G. Mudd building, which will house the museum for the next 15 to 20 years, said Kathleen Howe, the museum’s director. The Music Department will hold practices in the current museum building.

“The idea of us moving is to relieve our needs for more exhibition space, more gallery space and teaching space,” Howe said. “And we really want to have a covered area in the courtyard so that when we have Art After Hours, we don’t have to cancel it if it rains.”

While the Millikan renovation is underway, classes and offices for the departments housed there will be relocated to temporary buildings in the Kenyon parking lot.

“It’s going to take about a year and a half to do the construction, and then about another semester to get all the kinks out, so we’ll probably be out of the building for about two years,” Radunskaya said.

Robinson said that smaller construction projects around campus include continued work on the residence halls, repair for systems such as roofs and some changes around Bridges Auditorium. 

“We plan to repurpose that parking lot [near Bridges Auditorium] and make it more of an open space or landscape area,” Robinson said. “You’re going to see a friendlier pathway to get through the center of campus.”  

Robinson said that the project will also cut down on truck traffic off Fourth Street by relocating the auditorium’s loading dock. Work surrounding the auditorium will start in the next few weeks and be completed around April 2013.

There are also plans to work on Mudd-Blaisdell during summer 2013, but they have not been finalized.

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