What's Inside The Kravis Center

As the paint starts to dry and terracotta is set in place, the Forum thought it prudent to answer the question that has undoubtedly crossed your mind: What is going on inside the Kravis Center? The building was designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects. It has five levels totaling around 162,000 square feet and will be LEED gold certified, according to Brian Worley, the Director of Facilities and Services at CMC.


The Kravis Center will be ready for occupancy in early July. Construction should be completed in early May, and the two-month interim will be spent moving in furniture and finishing the interior spaces.  The CMC community should expect the building to be fully operational by next semester.


By any means, the building is not cheap to maintain. The administration estimates that it will cost a shocking $800,000 a year to keep the exterior clean alone. But when one takes into account the fact that IT’s servers and the chilling system for the entire west end of campus will be moved into the center, the figure becomes understandable.

A large portion of the yearly maintenance costs results from the glass windows that make up much of the building’s exterior. The college has to contract out for exterior window cleaning, which costs approximately $12,500 per wash. According to Worley, “the Cal State Universities can’t wash their windows at all anymore,” but CMC plans to wash the exterior windows twice a year.

Let’s break it down level by level:

The Lower Courtyard

This below-ground level will be accessible directly from the outside, via the staircases descending from North Quad.

It will include 50-55 parking spaces, a large lecture hall, offices for Financial Aid and Faculty support, two seminar classrooms, the IT servers, storage space and an innovative "chilled loop".

The chilled loop is one of the very cool (pun intended) things about the new center. Instead of a conventional air conditioning system, the administration decided to install this chilled loop in the Kravis Center that provides cool water for the entire west end of campus (eliminating the need for other chillers in west end buildings) and at the same time increasing environmental friendliness.

1st Floor

The ground level was designed to be “porous,” according to Matthew Bibbens the Vice President for Administration and Planning. There are open-air corridors allowing easy access from all sides, and a “Living Room” in which to hang out between classes or study with friends. This level will also include the Admissions Office, ten classrooms, and the Writing Center.

2nd Floor

No longer will you be searching trailer after trailer for your professor’s office.  The second floor will host 55 faculty offices and small lounge areas near the offices for informal meetings.

The Kravis Center will house the Government, History, Religious Studies, and Philosophy Departments. The administration made a conscious effort to keep all faculty members in a given department together to aid collaboration and increase efficiency.

3rd Floor

With the floor-to-ceiling windows, these upper levels will have stunning views overlooking North Quad.  It includes two seminar rooms, two outdoor terraces with seating and greenery, and three research institutes: The Center for Human Rights Leadership, the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies, and the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom.

CMC has long prided itself on its associated research institutes, and worked with their directors to house them in spaces worthy of their reputations.

4th Floor

The top floor is divided in half between the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and the Kravis Leadership Institute.

Each side also has a large terrace as well. These terraces provide more outdoor space and spectacular views of the 5cs and mountains.

The building will undoubtedly become the “image” of CMC, and anchor the campus’ west end in a remarkable fashion.