Beginning October 2019, Chumash Auditorium will be closed for renovation.

As Chumash Auditorium is one of the main facilities on campus used to host large events and club meetings, the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) hopes to enhance its lighting, flooring, staging, sound proofing and technology functions.

The project is estimated to cost about $5 million. ASI set aside funding and is utilizing organizational reserves to cover the costs, so student fees will not be increased for the renovation.

The renovation is expected to last through March 2020.

Chumash Auditorium is composed of three sections, but because of the lack of soundproofing and structural design between each section, there is a limited number of events that can take place simultaneously and the capacity is capped at 300 people.

“If there’s an event happening in Chumash for 300 people, but it’s not at maximum capacity, we could still have one side of the auditorium open with furniture that’s easily moveable for students to sit, relax and study,” ASI Chair of University Union Advisory Board Danielle Diele said. “Our biggest goal in this project is to increase student space when the space is not being fully occupied.”

ASI proposed a large-scale renovation and expansion of the University Union in 2015 and identified Chumash Auditorium as a priority project because of its large impact on the campus community, according to ASI Director of Facilities Management Ron Skamfer.

“We understand that there is no good time to renovate a space that is reserved as frequently as Chumash Auditorium; however, our hope is that the short term impact of this closure will result in decades of successful campus events,” Skamfer said.

ASI is currently collaborating with campus partners to find alternative venues for students to host club meetings and other large-scale events. According to Skamfer, they are working to gain additional access to the Multi-Activity Center (MAC) in the Cal Poly Recreation Center, which has space similar to the auditorium.

ASI is hosting an information gathering session Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium to gather feedback on how the space has been used and how it can be improved for future use. A series of input sessions will follow, directed toward clubs, departments and other groups that currently use the space.

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