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New Additions to the Cal Poly Campus: The Plant Conservatory and yakʔitʸutʸu Student Housing Solar Project

The Plant Conservatory

Throughout this hybrid academic year, the university has seen many construction projects go from blueprints to buildings. Newest on the list of completed projects is the yakʔitʸutʸu Student Housing Solar Project as well as the Cal Poly Plant Conservatory. The university is proud and excited to open these facilities as they are both environmentally friendly and provide their own unique benefits!

The yakʔitʸutʸu Student Housing Solar Project consists of two photovoltaic solar arrays installed on the top deck of Parking Structure 131 and on top of the yakʔitʸutʸu bike corral at the corner of Slack Street and Grand Avenue. This project connects to the campus electrical distribution system, and further reduces the university’s need to import power from the utility grid, according to Eric Soderin, project manager for Major Capital Projects in Facilities Management and Development. This new solar installation is more sustainable as the panels gather solar energy from the sun converting the DC voltage to AC voltage, which is the standard means of service power, Soderin said.

The yakʔitʸutʸu housing project began in 2015 therefore it is a big accomplishment to see the entire project come to fruition. This project also adds to Cal Poly’s extensive solar portfolio, according to Soderin.

Next up is the new Cal Poly Plant Conservatory that recently opened its doors. This large glasshouse is located on Village Drive next to the entrance of Poly Canyon in the center of campus. Inside this conservatory you will find a large living plant collection all maintained under one roof. This plant collection will support teaching and research initiatives for faculty and students in classic Learn-By-Doing fashion. Additionally, support from community outreach programs will work to foster education about plant biology and conservation of rare species.

The new conservatory features many different areas including a tropical house, desert house, cool tropical house, a propagation greenhouse and research greenhouses. All of these will help support different plant species in their preferred environments. You can volunteer at the Conservatory during Spring Quarter from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays! Please email Dr. Matt Ritter for more information.

If you haven’t already done so, grab your mask and go check out these cool new projects!