California Baptist University’s new Events Center is reportedly on schedule to be completed May 1, 2017, just in time for commencement ceremonies.
The project has just finished its underground utilities work and foundations phase, according to Steve Smith, director of facilities and planning services. Over the past several weeks, cement slabs have been poured.
As of March 21, construction has moved on to the next phase.
“The next phase of the project is the steel erection, scheduled to start the latter part of March,” Smith said. “Cranes and steel fabrication will begin arriving just prior.”
The CBU community received the news of the project in late August and construction began soon after in the empty lot adjacent to Lancer Arms and the Recreation Center.
The $73 million project, contracted under Sundt Construction, will be for internal use, not only replacing the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario as the location for annual graduation ceremonies, but also providing new space for athletic teams such as basketball, wrestling and volleyball. It will also be utilized for chapel and student orientation activities.
The Events Center has also been the cause of much of the construction that has happened to campus infrastructure in the past year.
Lancer Lane has been remodeled to lead incoming traffic directly to the center, which will not only be the largest indoor gathering space at CBU (153,000 square feet), but also the largest arena in Riverside.
“It will be a wonderful addition to the campus and a source of great pride for many of the students currently enrolled at CBU, as well as countless more who will follow for generations to come,” said Dr. Ronald Ellis, university president, in a press release.
Many students said they are looking forward to the increased space for graduation.
Victoria Neal, junior early childhood studies major, said she thinks the new center will turn out nicely.
“My sister graduated in Ontario in the Citizens Business Bank Arena and it was kind of crammed,” Neal said. “My siblings want to watch me graduate and my grandparents would (love) to watch me graduate.”