Cal Poly opens new building after years of work. Here are some of the key features

Cal Poly dedicated the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation on Friday, four years after the project broke ground.

Construction began in May 2019 and finished in May 2022, according to the Cal Poly construction website. The building was open to the public in April at the start of spring quarter.

“This cutting-edge facility is an investment in the education and future successes of our students,” Bill Frost said. “I look forward to this space being used to further enhance the Learn by Doing experiences that define Cal Poly for generations to come.”

The $133 million project was funded primarily by William and Linda Frost, who donated $110 million in 2017 to the College of Science and Mathematics.

The Frosts’ gift was a part of a larger fundraising campaign, bringing in more than $832 million from about 75,000 alumni, parents and community members according to a news release from Cal Poly.

The Frosts’ funding was used for a portion of the building, research equipment, the rooftop garden and atrium wood. The funding also contributes to yearly scholarships and research stipends as well as funding for new faculty members.

Cal Poly dedicated the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation on Friday, May 5, 2023.
Cal Poly dedicated the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation on Friday, May 5, 2023.

Additional donors for the Frost Center include the California State University, Cal Poly Corporation and “dozens of other donors,” the news release said.

The center is open for the college and used for general education classes and faculty offices.

Bill Frost graduated from Cal Poly in 1972 with a degree in biochemistry, according to the release.

There are three classrooms in the building, seating 180, 100 and 60 students.

College of Science and Mathematics pending new name

During the ceremony on Friday, the university announced the College of Science and Mathematics would be renamed as the Philip and Christina Bailey College of Science and Mathematics.

Philip Bailey, who retired as the dean of the college in 2017, serves as director of the Frost Fund.

“It’s an incredible honor and it particularly means a lot since I’ve been here so long,” Phil Bailey said.

“I don’t think I could have had the career I had without Tina. I would suspect that she would have said the same about me, though her career was a lot harder to navigate because she was a woman entering STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the ’70s, but she absolutely excelled.”