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President announces beginning of talk on new building(s)

Today the president, Jeff Armstrong, sent out a letter to the Cal Poly community announcing the possibility of new additions to the Cal Poly campus. The additions would include an event center, conference facilities, and a hotel.

President Armstrong made it very clear multiple times throughout the announcement that the university was only in the "think tank" mode, stating that these additions have "been discussed informally" and "we want to reiterate that no decisions have been made." To avoid any type of uproar from the student body over them being uninformed of additions to their school, Armstrong has issued this letter "in the spirit of transparency".

While the project itself will take quite a bit of planning, approval, and time, Armstrong wanted to inform the Cal Poly community of possible changes to Cal Poly in the coming years.

There is much work ahead of us to thoroughly assess the idea, and it will require the input of many stakeholders. If the university decides to move forward with any of the project planning, it will only occur after robust meetings and conversations have taken place with our faculty, staff and students, as well as the City and County of San Luis Obispo and other groups and individuals. At this time, in the spirit of transparency, we wanted to let you know about the study. We look forward to discussing it with you in detail in the months ahead.

He also stated that the project would only go into effect if "it [met] our guiding principles and answer[ed] the following questions, among others:

* Will it enhance Learn by Doing?
* Will it facilitate student success?
* Is it economically feasible, and will it enhance the local economy?
* Is it good for the university and community as a whole, and do our city, county and community partners support it?"

Along with building the new facilities, however, the president mentioned the possibility of enhancing the currently small hospitality program.

In addition, it would allow Cal Poly, within the context of our existing programs, to develop a transformational, interdisciplinary hospitality program between the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (CAFES) and the Orfalea College of Business (OCOB). However, this curriculum will only be developed if it enhances our academic offerings—and not at the expense of other programs.

In the interest of educating the Cal Poly community, Armstrong also provided the "Feasibility Study" performed to see if this idea was even worth the time, energy, and money.

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