CSU Chancellor’s Office awards Lyle Center more than $5M for capital projects

Image by Mark Maryanovich Photography
Image by Mark Maryanovich Photography

The Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies will receive more than $5 million to fund much-needed upgrades and improvements on the 16-acre site.

A construction budget of $4.29 million and a total project budget of $5.38 million from the Deferred Maintenance monies of the CSU’s 2019-20 Capital Outlay Program for Infrastructure Improvements will be used towards:

  • The restoration of the Center’s building envelope (that which physically separates a structure’s conditioned and unconditioned environment from elements such as heat, light and noise transfer);
  • Window replacements;
  • The installation of new ceiling fans in spaces currently not outfitted with any; and
  • LED lighting upgrades.

“The funds will be used to update the building envelope and improve classroom environmental conditions,” said Interim Director Pablo La Roche. “This includes new operable automated windows, LED lights and ceiling fans that will help us achieve the Center’s carbon neutrality goals. This funding will help to maintain a design that is in accordance with the Center’s original mission while updating it to respond to our vision for the future.”

Prior to the groundbreaking of the Center in 1992, a group of Cal Poly Pomona faculty and staff had helped raise $4.3 million after a decade was spent planning its design and creating a curriculum aligned with founding director and landscape architecture professor John T. Lyle’s vision of sustainable living.

Built in two phases in 1992 and 1994, the Center's buildings – classrooms, faculty offices, The Commons, and the Sunspace and Riverfront student dormitories – were intended to operate as a net-zero carbon complex. Twenty-five years later, many of its building systems now require significant improvements to enable its staff to optimize the ways the Center is used throughout the year by different populations with specific needs – instructional, public events, residential, and research purposes.

The substantial allocation from the CSU Chancellor’s Office responds to findings from an evaluation of maintenance issues conducted by PS2 Engineering, commissioned by Cal Poly Pomona’s Facilities Planning and Management two years ago. The engineering firm’s report, which identified areas in need of critical repair and provided recommendations for long-term repairs, ultimately informed the focus of the Center’s deferred maintenance project.

“This generous allocation by the CSU, larger than the cost of the original construction of the Lyle Center, will strengthen the Center's facilities and enable generations of faculty and students to pursue John Lyle's concept of regenerative studies – a field that integrates research in the areas of technology, social and cultural studies, and natural processes,” said Lauren Weiss Bricker, interim dean of the College of Environmental Design, which manages and operates the Center.

The next phase is underway. Facilities Planning, Design and Construction has contracted a local architectural and engineering group to move along the Lyle Center’s deferred maintenance plan to the next stage – developing design and construction documents that would be used in the bidding process.