Cal Poly’s campus currently has 10 large, active construction projects, leading to limited walking routes and driving access throughout campus.
Sections of N. Poly View Drive and N. Perimeter Road are sanctioned off from pedestrians and vehicles, causing traffic that is especially heightened during passing periods before classes.
Cal Poly’s master construction plan, active since 2001 and updated in June 2019, is well underway. Construction on new facilities and amenities for dining, research and sports has commenced.
The most prominent projects underway are the Dignity Baseball Clubhouse, JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation, Vista Grande Dining Facility and Mustang Beach Volleyball Complex. According to Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), Chumash Auditorium is also slated to begin renovations in early October. Additional projects the university is planning on starting soon include a new Cal Poly Plant Conservatory and new signage.
Once the Vista Grande Dining complex is complete, the University Union Neighborhood project, which involves renovating 805 Kitchen and The Avenue, will commence. The university has also began planning the Kennedy Library Renovation project, but as of now there is no set date to start construction.
Additionally, the Grand Avenue market, which is not mentioned on the website, is currently being completed near yakʔitʸutʸu.
“At all of these projects we have tried, where possible, to provide secured detours for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic that has been affected by construction closures,” project planner and architect for Cal Poly’s Facilities Planning and Capital Projects Anthony Palazzo wrote in an email to Mustang News.
University spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News that only the Frost Center for Innovation and Entrepreneur is restricting foot traffic on campus.
According to the Facilities Management and Development website, “every effort will be taken to minimize disruption during class and work.” However, students and staff alike have stated construction on the research center can be heard in the English Building, Agriculture Building, Faculty Offices North, Science North and Baker Science.
Construction on the research center started in May 2019 and does not have a planned date of completion. So far, only main gates blocking off construction area and landscaping have taken place.
Additionally, at night the buildings adjacent to the construction will be going through a “night flush.” All ventilation systems will be on full power to help circulation throughout the day when classes take place so that windows can remain closed during the day while construction takes place outside.
The Vista Grande Dining Facility will include six new restaurants and lounges in which students can study. This $36 million project was first projected to be finished in Fall 2019, but its completion has been moved back to Spring 2020.
Currently, the site lies on Grand Avenue through the main entrance of campus. Gates are lined up along the pedestrian path, and Deer Road is closed to both pedestrians and cars. A livestream is posted and updated daily to see live construction activity.
Following the Vista Grande Dining Complex site, construction will continue for the University Union Neighborhood project. The project will renovate and add more within the Julian A. McPhee University Union, the existing Dining Complex (Building 19) and the University Union Plaza.
According to the Administrative and Finance Department, as soon as the Vista Grande Dining Complex is complete, renovations will begin in the University Union.
Close-by, the Grand Avenue Market will open in Winter 2019 after delays due to issues concerning permits. This $1.225 million project will include new dining facilities for “the freshman residents as well as visitors on that end of campus, so the mix of food, beverages and products offered will be geared toward that population,” Aaron Lambert, a member of the Cal Poly Corporation and leadership team in the Grand Avenue Market construction plan, wrote.
Another site impeding pedestrian access is the Mustang Beach Volleyball Complex, located right behind Mott Gym and running adjacent to the Grand Avenue parking structure. The complex will feature audience seating, a scoreboard and a brand new volleyball court.
The project started in July 2019 and is slated to be finished by Winter 2019. It is important to note that all construction spoken of is affecting campus function.
“Any routes on campus may face temporary restrictions depending on ongoing construction activity,” Lazier wrote.
This also includes bicycle routes. Cyclists are advised to share the road between Via Carta and Safety Way East on Perimeter Road, according to the Facilities Management and Development Department.
“It is imperative that the campus community follow signage to temporary access paths and roads and avoid cell phone use while in these areas,” Palazzo wrote. “We encourage everyone to be aware of your surroundings, as construction site safety measures and barricades can change day to day and week to week.”
For the safety and well-being of students and faculty, alternative routes have been accommodated into everyday travel but should be approached with precaution wherever students choose or are obligated to attend.
Updates to the plans are coming soon.