Contractors began construction on a new parking lot for the Ludwick Center for Spirituality, Cultural Understanding, and Community Engagement, to combat any extra traffic the center may produce.
The multimillion dollar facility, supported by a large donation from Art and Sarah Ludwick, is scheduled to open fall of 2019.
The facility is located at the corner of Bonita Avenue and B Street, and will house the Office of Multicultural Services, the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, the Office of International Student Services and the Office of Interfaith and Spiritual Life.
Lisa Grater, manager of transportation services, said the new parking lot, Lot F, will be where Stu-Han Residence Hall used to be and will hold 68 spaces.
Lot F, along with Lots A and B, will accommodate any increase in parking traffic that the Ludwick Center may produce, Grater said.
“Mainly because Brandt and StuHan are no longer located in these areas,” Grater said. “There will not be as many vehicles that will need parking in these areas.”
University Chaplain Zandra Wagoner said the Ludwick Center will complement the diversity of La Verne students and teach them about justice and peace.
“This is a space where we are going to work intentionally to make connections across differences,” Wagoner said. “To be intentional about exploring our own identity in relationship to other identities.”
Wagoner said the space will allow time for students to care for their inner well-being and learn about their multiple identities.
The center will have a major sacred space, an area for spiritual practices, collaboration spaces, lounge areas, three classrooms, a small kitchenette area and a food pantry.
“The dedicated prayer space can be used at any time of the day, which will particularly serve our Muslim students,” Wagoner said. “The space will serve all our students who want to take time out to prayer or meditate.”
Larry Pirkle, director of capital planning, said construction has been productive and has only had a minor delay due to rainfall.
“As far as what was left of Brandt Hall, they are putting in the footings for that to make it seismically safe,” Pirkle said. “They have demolished all the interior walls that needed to be taken out and everything is moving forward as planned.”
Tyler Deacy, coordinator for budget and sustainability, said the project plans incorporate multiple sustainability features.
“The peace and meditation garden outside is sustainable and has nothing too crazy in terms of plant life,” Deacy said. “The water features are self contained, meaning it does not require outside water resource to be pumped in to maintain it.”
Deacy said the heating will be electric operated, which is more efficient than running the heater out of a gas boiler.
Contractors are also reusing a portion of Brandt Hall to serve as the base for the new center.
“When you talk about sustainability you have reduce, reuse and recycle,” Deacy said. “And the reuse of Brandt Hall, and ability to maintain that footprint in a lot of those building materials has made a significant impact sustainably because we have not bought new materials we already have.
“We have the base of the building in Brandt. We are just adding onto it.”
Pirkle said part of the California Green Building Standards Code, the first statewide green building code in the U.S., requires a certain amount of a building to be recycled and sent to landfills.
“The wood and bricks we are not using will be reground, reused and turned into something else down the road which was really a win for us,” Pirkle said.
“Additionally we were able to donate a lot of the furniture that was in Brandt Hall to some agencies that can repurpose it.”
Wagoner said this space will be beneficial for students of all ages, as an outlet to reflect and escape from life’s major stressors.
“My hope is our education is always in the direction of greater understanding and greater ideas for how we build good communities and care for this planet that we live on,” Wagoner said.
Layla Abbas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.