Construction of the new Pomona College Art Museum, situated along College Avenue between Second Street and Bonita Avenue, is well underway. And after surviving procedural hurdles and lawsuits, the museum is set to open in 2020.
By June 2019, the commissioning phase will begin, which will include an environmental and electrical review of the building. If everything goes according to plan, the museum should be eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold status, according to museum director Kathleen Stewart Howe. LEED is a points-based certification program that incentivises eco-friendly construction.
About 90 percent of the exterior glass, roofing and doors have been installed as of this week, according to Brain Faber, Pomona Facilities and program manager for the project.
Howe said rain has slowed work on the walkways and courtyards, but has not prevented construction from staying on schedule.
“We are anticipating [to] have the building 100 percent enclosed by the end of the month,” Faber wrote in an email to TSL.
The new building will include two new curricular galleries, according to Howe, as well as three vaults for storing paintings, each with a space for students to work directly with prints, paintings, sculptures and other art.
“We were very deliberate in making sure that pretty much every space in that museum can host a class or some students while they work on something,” Howe said.
Howe is excited about the plan for the courtyard, which has an event space set up to host lectures or artists’ workshops. Inside the courtyard will be a large screen that can be lowered to show movies.
The full details of the opening are still confidential, but Howe confirmed that one of the opening shows will be by Alison Saar, a Los Angeles-based sculptor and Scripps College alumna, who has received international recognition for her art. The college will also commission one of her pieces for the new museum’s courtyard.
The old museum will likely remain open throughout 2020 and, as far as Howe knows, long-term plans for the current museum have not yet been solidified.