Pomona Construction Will Impact Parking, Not to Mention the Noise

Pomona College Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum and Dean of Campus Life Ric Townes held a presentation on the north campus housing and parking project in Hahn 101 on Tuesday. The contractors for the project explained what the construction entails, and students were able to ask questions and voice concerns on the subject.

The ongoing project includes the construction of new dormitories and an underground parking structure.

The presentation included an introduction by Feldblum, a speech by Ehrlich Architects’ head architect Duke Oakley, explanations of what will make these new buildings sustainable, and answers to numerous student questions. The project will begin this summer, and continue until the residence halls are opened in January 2011.

On south campus, the college is building a parking structure for more than 600 cars just south of Seaver Theater. On top of this structure, there will be a synthetic turf playing field for lacrosse and other sports.

On north campus, the college will erect two new residence halls. There will be 150 beds in the dorms, mostly in the form of friendship suites for four to six people. There will be a reconfigured athletic field and an underground parking garage.

The buildings are expected to become the second project on campus to be LEED gold certified, after Lincoln-Edmunds.

This project emphasizes energy conservation, water conservation, and energy generation. Efforts will be made to reduce air-conditioning and boiler use.

Concrete walls will be installed to cut off the peaks and valleys of temperature, in addition to operable windows, which ensure that windows cannot be open while the heat or air is on. There will be a ceiling fan and fluorescent lights in each room. A particularly interesting feature will be light switches connected to outlets, which means that flipping a switch will shut off all power usage in the room. However, students will have another option for charging their computers and iPods.

In terms of water conservation, storm water will hopefully be returned to aquifers, rather than to the sewage. There will be dual-flush toilets, permitting students to choose different amounts of water used when flushing; restricted-flow faucets and showers will be installed. Photovoltaic panels will be added, as well as solar domestic hot water.

Students expressed concerns about the noise and parking issues that will arise next year. The administration is still working on the parking problem, as approximately 375 spaces will be lost due to both north and south campus construction project, but they have already announced that no first-year students will be allowed to have cars on campus next year. Additionally, the parking permit cost will rise.

The school is taking precautions to limit the impact of noise. Site workers will not arrive until 7 a.m. on weekdays and, on Saturdays, the crew will be smaller, and therefore the noise will not be as noticeable. Sound blankets will be placed around the construction site and there will be also be many trees put in front of Clark I to reduce noise issues there.

All this information, as well as monthly updates on the project, will soon be online. There will also be cameras outside the sites that allow passersby to view the work being done inside.

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