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Photos: The New North Campus Residence Halls

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Set to house their first residents this summer, the new north campus residence halls are nearing completion. Under construction since fall 2009, the two halls will add 150 beds to campus and reinforce the connections between learning and living that are a defining aspect of a Pomona College education.

The halls are located between Sixth and Eighth streets and east of Frary Dining Hall, Lawry Court and Walton Commons. Each hall is actually made up of two buildings in an L-shaped configuration, connected on the second and third floors by a glass walkway. The north hall has been named Sontag Hall, thanks to a generous gift from Rick and Susan ’64 Sontag and named in honor of the Sontag family, including the late Professor Fred Sontag.

Living spaces are set up as suites with 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-bed configurations, a shared bathroom, and common living rooms and kitchenettes. Each floor has a full kitchen and family-style lounge as well. The south building also houses a large public lounge and kitchen in an adaptable space, the new Outdoor Education Center, and a Green Bikes office. Sontag Hall features a beautiful rooftop garden that overlooks Athearn Field facing the mountains.

The buildings were designed by Erlich Architects and built to meet the gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green-building standard. All roofs have photovoltaic tiles and solar power will be used to heat water and provide some of the energy needed to provide heat in the winter. The rooftop garden provides a way for students to be actively involved in growing food, including having their own gardening plot. The south hall’s roof will serve as an educational exhibit, allowing students to get a first-hand look at the building’s energy-conserving features. Countertops were built with material made from recycled plastic, cardboard and glass, and rainwater from the site will be recovered and redirected to the aquifer. Students can assess their energy use in real time via flat-screen monitors in the lobbies of both buildings.

A 170-space parking lot is located beneath Athearn Field and one of the residence halls, preserving green space and contributing to a more pedestrian-friendly campus. In addition to Athearn, a variety of outdoor spaces will provide gathering and study spots, and will feature native landscaping.

With close to 98 percent of Pomona students now living on campus, Pomona has been stretched to its limit in recent years and has had to reduce the size of its entering class. These two new halls will help bring enrollment back to earlier levels. The first students to live in the halls will be those on campus for Summer Undergraduate Research Projects (SURPs) or campus employment. Next fall, the residence halls will house primarily seniors and juniors.