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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Website Update

William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation

Frost Center

Building for the Future

This cutting-edge facility is an investment in the education and future successes of our students. I look forward to this space being used to further enhance the Learn by Doing experiences that define Cal Poly for generations to come.

William L. Frost

Biochemistry, ‘72

Completed in May 2023, the Frost Center commands a striking presence on campus with its award-winning design that has created the ideal environment for exceptional research, innovation and collaboration. Every aspect of this new facility activates exciting opportunities for hands-on Learn by Doing, meaningful Teacher-Scholar interactions, industry partnerships and unlimited discoveries that benefit our communities, state and beyond.

What the Frost Center offers is truly unprecedented.

"Never has there been a time in the history in our college's history when we've had the finest and best equipped facilities as well as the resources available so that every student has the opportunity to collaborate with faculty mentors in conducting research," said Dean Wendt, dean of the Bailey College. "Never has there been so much potential for growth, engagement and breakthroughs — a remarkable foundation to build on for an unprecedented future of learning, discovery and innovation for students in the Bailey College."

Frost Center atrium

Inside the Frost Center

Conveniently located adjacent to the Baker Center at the heart of campus, the Frost center houses 102,000-square-feet of state-of-the-art laboratory and teaching spaces for students and faculty in multiple colleges, including 30,000 square feet of research space for the Bailey College.

102,000 square feet

This four-story, 2.32-acre complex features configurable classrooms, project-based programs and innovative laboratory space dedicated to undergraduate research. A large-sized classroom and lecture hall provide expansive teaching spaces for Bailey College and general education courses. More than 70% of the building’s space is available for programmatic purposes, including modern labs, computational tools, instruments and wet labs.

Cal Poly research student in Frost Center lab

The Frost Center was thoughtfully conceived with research, teaching, meeting and office spaces intended to facilitate peer/peer and student/faculty interactions and collaborations. These types of open, inclusive and relational areas reflect Bailey College's student-focused emphasis and Teacher-Scholar mentorship — the perfect environment for exploration, discovery, problem-solving and transformational Learn by Doing experiences.

13 labs

As an interdisciplinary facility, the Frost Center is also home to the Boswell Agricultural Technology Center and the Jack and Felicia Cashin Expressive Technology Studios  — both offering modern, specialized and industry-grade spaces and equipment for their respective areas of study and research.

Adding a special and meaningul touch, the Frost Center also includes the Christina Bailey Learning Terrace. (Visit the Christina Bailey Learning Terrace webpage to learn more.)

Watch the video, "Inside Look: Frost Center for Research and Innovation at Cal Poly."

Frost Center conference room with students

Watch a student-perspective video, "William and Linda Frost Center Opens ..." (from Mustang News, Cal Poly’s student-run news publication.)

Read more about the Frost Center: “A Place to Innovate: Step inside the Frost Center for Research and Innovation ..." (Cal Poly Magazine)

See Frost Center photo gallery.

Who Made the Frost Center Happen?

100% of air is from outside

The Frost Center is named after William and Linda Frost for their 2017 CSU-record gift to the Bailey College of Science and Mathematics. The Frosts and other generous supporters funded a portion of the building, its research equipment and enhancements. Bill Frost is an alumnus of the college (Biochemistry, ’72) who, along with his wife Linda, have transformed undergraduate research and Learn by Doing in the Bailey College and at Cal Poly by establishing the Frost Fund with their historical donation.

Frost Center culinary test lab

Early visions of the Frost Center were first conceived in 2013 through discussions between Frost, Dean Emeritus Phil Bailey and President Armstrong. Soon, other project partners were brought in to complete an experienced, talented and diligent team of expert contributors.

2.32 acres

Led by Phil Bailey and Bailey College administrators, staff and faculty; some of the key contributors on that team included ZGF Architects, Gilbane Inc., CSU, Cal Poly Corporation (now known as Cal Poly Partners), and Cal Poly’s Facilities Management and Development. See a list of other Frost Center project contributors.

The Frosts set the bar high, and the project’s concept expanded to include a broader scope. Many other generous and dedicated supporters joined in to help build the vision into an interdisciplinary undertaking.

The Frost Center has come alive as a place where students come to roll up their sleeves and be active learners. For some, that leads them to the state-of-the-art labs and studios; for others, to modern study and work spaces. In short, the Frost Center is an engine for interdisciplinary collaboration, creative expression and systematic investigation.

Jeffrey D. Armstrong

Cal Poly President

James W. Boswell and the Boswell family — also longtime supporters of Cal Poly and Learn by Doing — committed to creating extraordinary spaces for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. That commitment led to the Boswell Agricultural Technology Center, which will help drive the food industry forward in the areas of food safety and security, culinary development and sensory evaluation.

Jack and Felicia Cashin brought their industry know-how and hands-on enthusiasm to the project by committing to creating a cutting-edge space outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment for the College of Liberal Arts. Jack even sketched out drawing plans during the design process! The Jack and Felicia Cashin Expressive Technology Studios mark the first facility at Cal Poly devoted exclusively cross-disciplinary collaboration between the sciences, arts and technology.

Learn more about the Frost Center building project and specs.

Watch the video, "Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design: CAED Alumni Behind Frost Center for Research and Innovation."

Read “Frost Center for Research and Innovation is Dedicated — And a College is Renamed for Phil and Tina Bailey.”

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