Rendering courtesy of Cal Poly

Cal Poly’s new residential student community has been named yakʔitʸutʸu, in honor of the Northern Chumash tribe of San Luis Obispo. The yakʔitʸutʸu residential community will open its doors for the first time in Fall 2018.

The residential community will be located at the Grand Avenue entrance to campus and house 1,475 freshman students in seven residence halls, which will vary in size from three to five stories. Residence halls within the complex will be named after tribal sites on the Central Coast — elewexe, nipumūʔ, tiłhini, tsʰɨtqawɨ, tšɨłkukunɨtš, tsɨpxatu and tsɨtkawayu.

The Chumash were the first to call Central Coast their home.

“We view the Cal Poly housing project as a partnership between the yakʔitʸutʸu tribe and Cal Poly,” Leah Mata, a tribal member who worked closely with Cal Poly’s housing staff, said in a press release. “Our goal is to provide a narrative using our own voice and world view to share how we view our places that matter.”

Once complete, the 12-acre site will include a welcome center, retail space and open space with nature walking paths, among other amenities.

“The yakʔitʸutʸu housing complex serves as a symbol of community and celebrates Cal Poly’s partnership with Northern Chumash of San Luis Obispo,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a press release. “I look forward to working with the Chumash to grow our relationship and support student success for years to come.”

The total project cost is $198 million.

For more information about the yakʔitʸutʸu housing community, including pronunciations for individual building names, visit

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