Monday, November 24, 2014

New Pomona College Science Building to Open in 2015

All images courtesy of Pomona College

Construction of Pomona College's new 75,000 square-foot Millikan Science Hall is ahead of schedule, with the building slated for completion in mid-2015.  The project, imagined as a new local landmark, was originally scheduled to open next Fall.  When complete, the low-rise structure will house the school's astronomy, mathematics and physics departments.

Copper panels are currently being added to the exterior of the building's planetarium dome, while ceramic tiles and windows are being installed on other parts of the facility.

Millikan Hall, designed by San Francisco-based architecture firm EHDD, will include: a domed digital planetarium; an outdoor physics lab; a two-story atrium; a remote observation room for Pomona's one-meter telescope at NASA's JPL Table Mountain facility; machine, wood and metal shops; a colloquium room with eating for 80 to 100 people; a 50-seat classroom and 16 physics teaching and research labs, in addition to classrooms and study spaces.  Matt Construction is the contractor for the project, which also entails a renovation of the adjacent Andrews Science Hall.

The project involves a full replacement of the 1958 Millikan Laboratory building.  Like its predecessor and neighboring structures, the new Millikan building will employ cast-in-place concrete, masonry design elements, textured plaster, a red tile roof and an entrance patio.  South-facing clerestory windows will bring natural light in from the second floor to the first via open light shafts.  Grading along the south side of the building will allow for windows into the basement, while the north side will remain windowless for experiments which require complete darkness.

The digital planetarium, visible from College Avenue and Sixth Street, will provide a panoramic, immersive view of the night sky and will allow for seasonal adjustments.  It will also give the College a means to reach out to the larger community, through special events and astronomy classes for local schools and organizations

The new Millikan is being built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold Certification, with the possibility for additional design features which could push the building to Platinum Level Certification.

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