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Updates for Caltech neighbors

December 2021

Caltech students and staff return to campus

Caltech employees and students are back on campus. All are following Pasadena Public Health Department–approved protocols that help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Classes began September 27.

As a reminder, if you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, you may not enter campus. Please continue to wear face coverings when indoors on campus. Thank you for helping us protect the campus community. See more Caltech news related to COVID-19.


As building and renovation projects progress on campus, Caltech aims to minimize disruption. Crews are required to follow city construction guidelines and COVID-19 protocols.

Pasadena Beautiful recognizes two recent Caltech projects.

Pasadena Beautiful's 2021 Commercial Design Awards honored Caltech's garden-wrapped Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Research Building and a complex of 1920s bungalows that Caltech moved from the neuroscience building site to San Pasqual Street and carefully restored and landscaped. The awards, conferred every five years, recognize efforts to create exceptional landscapes that benefit the environment, the community, and people who work and live nearby.

Two projects on the east side of Wilson Avenue are active now.
  1. Cooling infrastructure
    Caltech's aging cooling towers on Wilson Avenue south of California Boulevard are due to be replaced. Demolition began in late November and will run through December. We expect increased noise and dust in the week of December 6. The dust suppression systems use misters and water cannons; if it appears that clouds of dust are over the site, it is actually water used to capture dust particles in the air. If you use Wilson Avenue routinely, you may see more frequent street sweeping and increased truck traffic at this time. The future facility will be more efficient, attractive, and seismically safe.
  2. Resnick Sustainability Center
    The Mead Laboratory has been demolished to make way for the Resnick Sustainability Center, a future hub for energy and sustainability research, just north of San Pasqual Street on the east side of Wilson Avenue. Concrete, wood, and metal were sorted for recycling and reuse. Several trees were removed; more will be planted than were removed. Minor, occasional activity will take place until construction begins in spring 2022.


January 19, 2022 5:00 pm

Watson Lecture - When Earth Breathed Deeply

Online Event
Claire E. Bucholz, Assistant Professor of Geology, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech,


December 1: Demolition of cooling towers
We expect significant noise during the December demolition of Caltech's aging cooling towers and their enclosure, southeast of the intersection of Wilson Avenue and California Boulevard.

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Odalys Callejas, who was a summer 2021 WAVE fellow, and Claire Bucholz, an assistant professor of geology, look at an igneous rock together
Left to right: summer WAVE fellow Odalys Callejas and Claire Bucholz, an assistant professor of geology