Ryan Chartrand

Poly Canyon Village

Cal Poly is no longer just a college campus; by August 2008, it will have its own village. Poly Canyon Village housing development is planned for sophomores and will operate as its own community. It will feature retail stores, eateries, a recreation center, an Olympic-sized pool and many other everyday commodities dorm students don’t always have a chance to enjoy.

Located just off Grand Avenue on Canyon Road, construction on PCV has already begun. Nine buildings, along with two parking garages, are planned to accommodate 2,670 students. By fall 2008, 1,500 students can move in and by August 2009, the project should be completed.

This is the largest housing project budget the CSU system has ever approved, for a record $239 million.

Preston Allen, the director of housing and business services, said Poly Canyon Village was named in reference to an African village, where there are three aspects: the well-being of the community, food and support.

Although the project is designed for sophomores, the village will change the whole outlook of campus.

“It’s the most exciting thing at Cal Poly since Grand Avenue,” Allen said.

Cal Poly research found that sophomores seem to struggle most to stay on a successful academic path. In response, Allen said Cal Poly wants students to receive assistance to make their academic career as productive and memorable as possible.

A “knowledge center” is planned for the village that will have the feel of a library and coffeehouse to it, with advisers and counselors on site to assist students.

Ray Truman, a business sophomore, lived at Cerro Vista over the summer with no car, and said having a place like Poly Canyon Village would make campus life more enjoyable for students.

“Life would definitely be better and more convenient, especially over the summer because one, there’s nothing going on, and two, there’s nowhere to eat,” Truman said.

For the eateries and retail space, Cal Poly reached out to popular local companies that students frequent, but Allen could give no names of possible candidates. The plan is to get an anchor store to come in, such as a Bed Bath and Beyond, and then get other places to sign on. Negotiations with a local store look promising and Allen did not want to jeopardize anything by naming it.

Allen said some of the retail spaces could rotate every six months and the store possibilities are endless. For example, there could be an on-campus bike shop.

“I really think it’s going to transform the campus,” Allen said.

Encouraged by the success of Cerro Vista, which opened in 2003, and the students’ freedom to choose roommates, Poly Canyon Village will have many single rooms available as well as shared rooms for a more affordable student housing option.

For more information check out www.polycanyonvillage.calpoly.edu.

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