Demolition is underway this week on Cal Poly Pomona’s iconic CLA tower.

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The soon to be demolished CLA building with fencing at Cal Poly Pomona March 16, 2022. (credit: Tom Zasadzinski/Cal Poly Pomona)

Demolition on the exterior of the university’s CLA tower, which is covered in limestone and is visible from the 10 and 57 Freeways, is scheduled to begin May 23. Demolition on the interior is in progress, and the university has held off on demolishing the exterior of the building until after commencement, which takes place May 20-22.

The modernistic tower opened in 1993 and has appeared movies such as “Gattaca” and “Imposter.” However, the tower was built on top of an earthquake fault and found to be structurally faulty. After university officials determined that retrofitting the building would be too expensive, the CLA tower and adjoining Registrar Building were eventually closed in 2018.

Graduates and alumni have been rushing to take pictures with the iconic tower before its will be wrapped in dust- and debris-trapping material in preparation for its tear-down.

University officials say the tower will not be demolished with a typical implosion taking the structure down; instead the contractor will use a crane and grabbing excavator to take it apart so as not to disrupt nearby classrooms and to protect the adjacent Aratani Japanese Garden.

CLA demolition workers cut holes in the CLA building as demolition begins April 20. (credit: Tom Zasadzinski/Cal Poly Pomona)

The building is scheduled to be completely dismantled by mid-August, before fall semester classes start.

A green space with outdoor sitting and study areas will be built in its place.

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