City College Opens Art/Tech Buildings

12/12/2014 – Union-Tribune: Artists have more light, technology Technology buildings at San Diego City College on Thursday. — John Gastaldo
$94 million project brings new classrooms, studios, theater to downtown school

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO — Artists have more light, technology students have more computers and dancers have a floor of their own at San Diego City College this semester.

Those improvements and more are part the new Arts & Humanities building and Business & Technology building that opened earlier this year on campus.

“This has been a long-time coming,” San Diego Community College District President Rich Grosch said at an opening celebration on campus Thursday.

The $94.6 million buildings were funded through two bond measures passed by voters about a decade ago.

The five-story, 128,378 square-foot Arts & Humanities building is a striking new landmark near the corner of C and 16th streets in downtown San Diego.

Easily identified by a multi-story wing that resembles a white rectangular box facing C Street, the building contains a 100-seat theater, studio space for visual arts, a kiln yard, sculpture garden, gallery and classrooms for speech, foreign languages, world culture and other subjects.

San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll, who sits on the National Humanities Council, said the building has a special place in her heart.

“To me, this is the heart and soul of what we do in education,” she said. “All the disciplines are important, but the disciplines that will be in this building are the disciplines that question our humanity itself.

“The meaning of life, our experiences, our concepts of beauty, the notions of philosophy, everything about our human life is going to be taught in this building,” she said.

Inside, art teacher Anna Stump said her new studio’s floor-to-ceiling windows are a huge improvement over her old windowless classroom, which she referred to as “a cave.”

“The ceilings are twice as high and there are a million windows,” she said. “We used to have to open the doors to get natural light.”

The three-story, 62,000-square-foot Business & Technology building along 16th Street has lecture halls, areas for start-up businesses and seven computer labs, including what Business, Information Technology and Cosmetology Dean Rose LaMuraglia said may be the largest one in the city.

The building also houses a food pantry, which LaMuraglia said is used by about 50 homeless students who attend the college.

Down the hall is the Community College District’s only thrift store, which provides clothes for students who may not have anything proper to wear at job interviews.

Starting next semester, LaMuraglia said cosmetology students will reserve a couple of chairs for students who need a haircut or even makeup before job interviews.


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