Moves to Emerson trigger chain reaction

Facilities management helps facilitate movements across campus and conduct conversations about master plan projects.

Infographic by Tony Flores/THE CHIMES

Infographic by Tony Flores/THE CHIMES

Melissa Hedrick, Writer

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With staff and faculty moved into their new office spaces in Emerson Hall after the City of La Mirada granted a certificate of temporary occupancy, the following department moves are planned to begin in the next couple of weeks.

Since the humanities’ relocation to Emerson, the education department will begin to move from the modulars next to the Caf into the open area of the second floor of Sutherland Hall on April 22. Student success, including academic advising currently located in Metzger Hall and career services in the student services building, will move into the first floor of Sutherland during the beginning of May.

Subsequent moves

With space in the modulars by the Caf, The Center for Marriage and Relationships will move into the eastern modular rather than Rose Hall. This decision was made since the layout of the modular better fit the needs of the center, therefore costing less to make the space suitable, and the location was a highly trafficked area on campus.

Campus Safety will also have the opportunity to bring together their different branches. The field office in the temporary modulars near McNally Lawn and dispatch from Metzger will both eventually relocate to the main office in the modulars.

Admissions is also set to move from Metzger to the temporary Grove modulars.

Welcome center

With area cleared in the eastern section of Metzger after the movement of academic advising, admissions and the Center for Marriage and Relationships, this would allow a portion of the building for use as a dedicated welcome center for prospective students. It would serve as a location where they would go for more information about the school and where campus tours would depart from. Planning for the center is underway and construction is set to begin over the summer.

Science center construction

The aforementioned moves were not detailed in the master plan since no new buildings were  created. The Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health is currently the largest project in the works on-campus and included in the master plan.

“We’re about halfway through the grading process. We’re scheduled to finish grading on May 6 and get into construction, get into foundations and structure,” said Brian Phillips, director of facilities management.

Following complete grading, the foundation and structure are set for completion by Dec. 16, 2016, the exterior skin by June 17, 2017, the site development by Sept. 30, 2017, and the interior and temporary occupancy by Oct. 19, 2017. This would allow two months to move equipment into the building, so it would open for classes at the beginning of 2018.

Master plan

Blackstone Hall and parking structure K are two projects on the plan that have already been completed. Biola has approval from the city to work on approximately 20 other buildings in the future, as long as the buildings stay the same size and height as proposed. The order of buildings has not been established but will be based on need and funding.

“Typically academic buildings are fundraised so [university] advancement has to determine that we have the capacity to raise the money necessary to build a facility, so that’s one issue. Another issue is the need, we have to prioritize ― what are the greatest facility needs on the campus and ultimately I think that’s a decision that’s made by PAC and the president, with a lot of input,” Phillips said.

Lately, there has been discussion about the importance of the event center since Biola has begun the process for gaining inclusion in NCAA Division II. Though the Chase Gymnasium has the capacity for the sports games, it would possibly make it more difficult to schedule other events in the same space. The event center would be located where parking lots E, F and H are currently.

“We just had a meeting to talk about [the event center] and I think that, as people have had a chance to think, now some of those thoughts will be put into writing just to see if that brings the level of priority for an event center high enough to be on the next capital campaign,” said Greg Balsano, vice president of university services.

Balsano explained other contenders for priority include Talbot West, an academic building and a specialized building for film students. As the current campaign will come to a close in December, it must be considered whether an upcoming building would be funded through donations, bonds or both because fundraising would be conducted through campaigning.

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Moves to Emerson trigger chain reaction