Oppenheimer Family Equine Center

Construction worker overlooking the build site of the Oppenheimer Family Equine Center

Construction on the first phase of the Oppenheimer Family Equine Center began in July, paving the way for a new covered riding arena, foaling barn, stallion barn, and hay barn at the northern end of Cal Poly’s campus.

The project is being funded by the $20 million donation made to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES), from longtime Cal Poly supporters Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer in 2014.

Aerial photo of the construction site

Render of the final building

The foaling barn – a favorite destination of Cal Poly visitors to watch young foals play in the surrounding fields — and the stallion barns, both more than 60 years old, were demolished over the summer and construction of the new facilities began in October. The horses typically housed in the barns are being kept off campus in Cal Poly pastures. A few of the horses, including the stallions, foals and mustang enterprise horses, have been temporarily relocated to the beef unit, said Julie Yuhas-Volk, manager of the equine center.

“We are so excited about this project,” said Yuhas-Volk. “The new facility will be a huge benefit to our students and their Learn by Doing experiences at the equine unit.”

The first phase is expected to be complete in February 2018.

A second riding arena, an Animal Health Center and an Agriculture Event Center, all funded in some part by the Oppenheimers’ donation, are also in the planning phase.

“We are continually grateful for this generous gift from Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer,” said Andrew Thulin, dean of CAFES. “We have all worked long and hard to break ground on this project, which will exponentially improve the experience of our students.”

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