CLU to build $15 million Dining Commons

Facility will transform the heart of the campus

The glass curtain walls will look out over the academic corridor and Kingsmen Park.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – May 22, 2012) California Lutheran University is beginning work to build a $15 million, environmentally friendly, two-level Dining Commons that will transform the heart of the Thousand Oaks campus.

With glass curtain walls looking out over the academic corridor and Kingsmen Park, the facility will be built where the Student Union Building and Pavilion now stand. Student Affairs offices are being moved in preparation for demolition of the SUB, which is slated for June. Grading and electrical work will follow. Construction of the new facility will begin in late fall with completion targeted for spring 2014.

Located at the crossroads of the campus, the new Dining Commons will provide a gathering place for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and visitors.

The design makes extensive use of natural lighting. There will be large balconies on the east, south and west sides of the second floor for eating and gathering.

The first floor will hold a coffee bar and student lounge that will be open until midnight and a conference center with three banquet rooms and a private dining room. On the second floor will be a market with extended hours and a main dining area with a pizza oven, pasta bar, grill, soup and salad bar, dessert bar and a deli station with fresh baked bread, sandwiches and wraps. An international food station will offer made-to-order Mongolian grill, Asian wok and vegan menu choices.

CLU will seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the Dining Commons at the silver level. The design incorporates many energy-saving features using natural ventilation and nighttime cooling, daylight harvesting to turn off light fixtures next to windows, and an automated building management control system. Crews will install water-saving plumbing features, recycle construction waste and reuse existing equipment where possible.

Plans had been scaled back to accommodate a $13 million budget, but a $2 million gift from the Ullman Foundation allowed CLU to go back to the original design with glass walls and a more attractive roof and entryway. When CLU Regent George “Corky” Ullman Jr., a Santa Clarita resident who graduated from CLU in 1976, saw the scaled-back plans, he and his brother, 1977 alumnus Steve Ullman of Santa Clarita, decided to donate the additional money needed to build the better facility. The foundation also represents alumni Cody Ullman ’01 and Chad Ullman ’08. The family has provided support for CLU scholarships and facilities, including Ullman Stadium, for nearly 35 years.

The old Dining Commons will be transformed into a new Student Union Building with offices for the Student Affairs staff and an expanded area to serve students’ needs.

Other summer projects include removing the old Mount Clef Stadium bleachers, remodeling Pederson Hall for freshmen living on campus, and relocating the Student Counseling Center from the Community Counseling Center building to next to Health Services.