Something grand is popping up at Bonita and College Avenues

The Pomona College Museum of Art is slowly but surely making its presence felt on the eastern end of the Village.

According to project manager Brian Faber, all of the major concrete has already been poured; all that’s left to do is the landscaping, the interior work, and the electrical and plumbing work.

That said, there are still months of work ahead for the museum; the building is set to be completed by June 2019, and moving the nearly 13,000 pieces of artwork and artifacts from the old museum to the new one will take nearly a year, according to Pomona College spokesperson Mark Kendall.

All told, the museum is set to open sometime in late 2020, though an official date has not yet been set, Mr. Kendall said.

The opening will be three years in the making, as construction on the museum started in November 2017.

When completed, it will boast four gallery rooms, two ancillary galleries for student showcases and classes, several offices, two massive storage vaults complete with adjoining portals, and a pavilion for community events.

The Vince Pavilion will be a space that can be used by the city, community or other groups as a meeting and event area, Mr. Faber said. It will have its own separate entrance facing College Avenue, which allows the community to use it outside of museum hours.

The pavilion itself it topped with an exciting angled roof, enclosed with glass windows and will feature a projector screen for presentations. There will even be a small kitchen to accompany the space, Mr. Faber said.

“The goal is to have access to the community,” Mr. Kendall said.

There will be two entrances—a main entrance for the community at 120 Bonita Ave. and a secondary entrance for students facing College Avenue. Both entrances will lead to a main lobby, where patrons check in to see the artwork.

The four galleries are connected on the north end of the building. A massive Chinese elm tree that was originally on the property prior to moving Renwick House was saved. It will serve as the focal point for the courtyard.

All told, the museum will be 33,000 square feet. The museum itself may be done by June 2019, but some of the more difficult work—including moving, cataloging and placing the museum items—will continue.

According to Pomona College Museum of Art Associate Director Steve Comba, the move will be done in phases; first the furniture that houses the artwork, and then the items themselves.

Many factors come into play when moving old and delicate art, Mr. Comba said; the temperature of the museum, the way it’s going to travel and even the right time of the year to move.

The current museum will continue to be open until May 2020, as the artwork is moved into the new building.

—Matthew Bramlett


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