Westmont Magazine Elegant Entrance Welcomes You to Westmont

The next time you drive to campus, you’ll discover beauti- ful new kiosks featuring sandstone, greenery and vine-covered trellises. Westmont has widened each entrance and designed the kiosks to better protect the campus.

“We’ve always had an open campus, and anyone who want- ed to visit could make their way up the hill,” says Doug Jones, vice president for finance. Early discussions about safety led to the plan for the kiosks. Then COVID-19 hit. “The state required higher education institutions to limit access to their campuses, and it became clear that kiosks would be beneficial,” Doug says.

Campus safety officers and student workers will staff the kiosks, which will provide an additional level of comfort and security for the Westmont community. “We’ll also better serve our guests by helping them know where to park and how to find their intended destination,” says Randy Jones, director of campus planning.

Large events such as Preview Days may require addition- al staff. “As the first people guests interact with, kiosk staff have an opportunity to make a great first impression,” Doug says. “Important aspects of the job include welcoming guests, offering directions and a map to their destination, identifying available parking and answering general questions.”

Randy worked with Blackbird Architects and Susan Van Atta, a landscape architect, to design the kiosks to complement the existing campus. “The structures look like buildings you’d find in a garden,” Randy says. “Each kiosk is set in planted landscapes, with a trellis supporting flowering vines to soften the structures and a veneer of Santa Barbara sandstone, which occurs naturally on campus. The stone was cut and installed in a more refined style than we typically use because the small scale called for more delicate detailing.”

Each entrance now accommodates two lanes for entry and one for exiting. People with permits use the right lane, while visitors drive to the left to be greeted. Staff members lift the heavy gate with an electronic switch. At night, when no one staffs the kiosks, a Westmont ID card will open the gate. The exit gate will open automatically as drivers approach.

Requests to modify the width of the road after construction began caused a delay, as did issues with the supply chain stem- ming from the pandemic. Bottenfield Construction had to wait for windows, transformers and other electrical components to arrive before installing them.