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Mudslide threat closes Cal Poly dorm

Dylan Ring/KCBX
Students moving out of Fremont Hall on Thursday


A Cal Poly dorm is closed for the next several months due to a recent mudslide behind the building. 275 student residents of Fremont Hall are moving out this week after recent storms put the dorm and residents in jeopardy. 

The building hasn’t been damaged besides a few cracks in the wall, but Cal Poly facilities interim director of operations, Jude Fledderman, said he’s seen the slide grow in size, with up to ten feet of mud on the eastern wall of the building. Fledderman addressed the potential danger of nearby eucalyptus trees at a conference on the situation earlier this week.

“I noticed that the earth was cracked around them," Fledderman said. "That’s when we made the decision to evacuate the building based on that risk.”

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said the evacuation is necessary due to more expected rainfall in March.

The students will be moving to different locations including Poly Canyon Village and dorm study rooms, but they can’t return to Fremont. The dorm is set to remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

On Thursday, students packed and moved out of the dorm with the help of housing team members and other officials.

Fremont resident Glenn Claflin is moving to new digs in the Tenaya study room, which now has bunkbeds in it. Claflin puts down his belongings and said the move has been tough.

“Overall it's just kind of adding to the stress of studying and getting ready," Claflin said. "It sucks to be moving out. We lived half a year here. I mean we have friends in here and we’re moving away and we’re all split up now.”

Students have the choice to move to an alternate location in Poly Canyon village, move off campus or stay in their temporary study rooms for the rest of the year. Cal Poly housing director Jo Campbell said students’ housing fees will remain the same if they move to a new dorm. For students housed in study rooms, the fees will be reduced. Campbell said students who decide to move off campus will be reimbursed for the remainder of the year.

Fremont is expected to be reopened in Fall of 2017.