Ceremonial groundbreaking marks construction start for San Diego Mesa College Math+Science Complex


SAN DIEGO –  Before a crowd of approximately nearly 250 students, faculty, staff and special guests, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held Wednesday to mark construction of the future Math+Science Complex at San Diego Mesa College, the largest teaching and learning facility to be built on the campus and within the San Diego Community College District at 206,000 gross square feet.

The $117 million, four-story complex, will provide a state-of-the-art new home for transfer and certificate programs in Biology, Chemistry, Physical Sciences and Mathematics.  It will include classrooms, teaching and computer laboratories, and faculty and staff support space.  Specialty spaces will include a greenhouse and astronomy observation center.  Exterior learning spaces will include several gardens with global microclimate themes, including San Diego Native Species Garden, a South African Garden and an Australian garden.

“When you think of the vast changes going on in terms of science and the mathematics that will support these and other fields, one can only imagine the kind of education our students will able to receive in this fabulous new building,” said Dr. Pamela T. Luster, President of San Diego Mesa College.  “We will have state-of-the-art labs, state-of-the-art classrooms, and instructors who will be able to live out their lifelong dreams of teaching in a facility they helped to create.”

“The faculty in Mesa College’s Math and Science departments are at the top of their fields.  They hold advanced degrees, they are involved in research, but to date, their facilities have not matched their level of expertise and excellence,” declared Dr. Constance Carroll, Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.  “For the first time in our district, we will give them the facilities they have always deserved and needed.”

The new building, which is expected to be completed in summer of 2013, is being funded as part of the District’s $1.555 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program, which is providing for new teaching, learning and career training facilities, major renovations, major infrastructure projects, parking, and public safety and ADA enhancements at City, Mesa and Miramar colleges, and six San Diego Continuing Education locations throughout the District.

“Honestly, we really have to thank the voters for these beautiful facilities,” said Rich Grosch, President of the District’s Board of Trustees.  “Voters passed the bond measures overwhelmingly, and we thank them for the effort that went into that.”

Faculty members, many of whom have spent years working with the design team on instructional programming needs, praised the design for promoting learning inside and outside of classrooms and laboratories.

“I think what we’re going to have here in a couple of years is a building that shows that science and mathematics education is vital, valued, and contemporary at Mesa College,” said Donna Budzynski, Associate Professor, Chemistry Department.

Student leaders also thanked San Diego voters for the facilities transformations they say will benefit future generations to come.

“Our school will continue its tradition of excellence by not only offering the best faculty and staff, but also the best facilities, thanks to Propositions S and N,” praised Cherie Deogracias, President of Mesa’s Associated Students Government.

Fellow student Mona Lisa Jabari, a Biology major who will graduate next year, described the facility as a “dream” building and a “great opportunity for students who’ll have access to such an advanced facility.”  While acknowledging the facility won’t be completed during her studies, she praised the project as one to benefit all future students studying the sciences and mathematics.  “This is not just a building.  It is a symbol of what people can achieve through hard work and education.”

All construction and major renovations by the San Diego Community College District are designed and built to obtain the highest possible certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The Mesa College Math+Science Complex includes a number of sustainable features:

  • The project maximizes the use of sustainable materials and materials with high recycled content.  All wood surfaces in the building will be made up of caramelized bamboo, a 100% sustainable resource since it does not require replanting after harvesting.  It is extremely durable and is tougher than typical hardwood surfaces.
  • Linoleum flooring, a natural material made from linseed oil, is used extensively throughout the building.
  • The project maximizes use of natural lighting which reduces energy demands from artificial lighting, and helps to reduce eyestrain and increase productivity.
  • All windows utilize ‘high performance’ glass that allows sunlight to filter into the building, but reduces the amount of UV light and solar heat entering the building.
  • All walls and roof areas are highly insulated, helping to conserve energy resources and making the building more comfortable by maintaining a healthy and uniform temperature.

A project fact sheet is available at http://public.sdccdprops-n.com/Facts/Mesa/FactSheet_MesaMath+Science.pdf

For more information, please visit www.public.sdccdprops-n.com.  For high-resolution photographs or renderings, please contact Ursula Kroemer at (760) 705-6919 or ukroemer@gafcon.com.