The Western University student housing will be built to silver LEED standards.

POMONA, CA-A mixed-use, 173,000-square-foot graduate student housing project is underway here, with anticipated completion by the third quarter of next year.

Architecture and planning firm KTGY Group Inc. of Irvine and private developer Hanover Pacific are guiding the planning and construction for the 3.6-acre project. It is adjacent to the Western University of Health Sciences, a private, non-profit graduate school for health professions.  The construction price was not disclosed.

The four-story mixed-use development will provide 306 beds and 10,000 square feet that will be used as faculty offices for Western. The project is a public/private partnership with the city government of Pomona, the Vehicle Parking District, Hanover Pacific, and Western University.

The building will be constructed to silver LEED standards, says David Senden, a principal with KTGY Group Inc. and the lead designer on the project.

“Students today expect environmental responsibility from their campuses and certainly housing is such a large part of a student’s college experience. If housing is new, students expect a green building,” says Senden. “Western University’s new residential community optimizes energy and water efficiencies; reduces pollution, waste water and construction waste; and utilizes regional materials.”

Senden tells GlobeSt.com that the project includes “high-efficiency room and water heating, use of recycled materials, low VOC paints and materials, as well as a pedestrian paseo highlighting low-impact water treatment.” “Low-flow fixtures and reduced water consumption in landscape areas will go a long way toward saving ever-diminishing clean water supplies.”

The project includes a large hotel-style lobby designed to function like a coffee shop, “where students can hang out or study,” says Senden. “This is a different approach from a rec center, which is seldom used by the grad students. This space allows grad students, who are in highly rigorous academic programs, to socialize or to study by themselves in a public environment. This connection to others within the lobby area can alleviate the sense of isolation that is typical in rigorous graduate programs.”

Robert Y. Kim, the executive managing director for Hanover Pacific, said in a statement that creating student housing in an urban infill “is a very complex endeavor, especially in California.”

He said the project will also help the continued revitalization of downtown Pomona. “In addition to addressing current needs, we believe that the project will be a valuable asset to the University long-term, while also expanding the campus via a partnership with Hanover Pacific. Also, the mixed-use concept of the building promotes Hanover Pacific’s live/learn approach to student housing where housing is combined with academic components to create not only a closer identification to the campus but also provide a more dynamic campus life experience.”

As previously reported in GlobeSt.com, a local grocery-anchored center recently changed hands in Pomona.