11/1/17 – The Californian: Grossmont College break ground for Performing and Visual Arts Center
On Oct. 27 Grossmont College held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of several Prop V construction projects. The first phase will be a 38,680 ft., 390-seat Performing and Visual Arts Center that will include a teaching and performance theater as well as home to the college’s Hyde Art Gallery. The ceremony was held in Lot 1, adjacent to the Stagehouse Theatre.
“This facility is funded by the tax payers who were gracious to pass Prop V in 2012. It will open in the fall of 2019,” said Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Ed.D. president of Grossmont College. He added, “We will be planning what our first performance will be.”
The obligatory groundbreaking shovels poised on top of the sand allowed several rounds of well wishes to “break ground.” The last one to dig a shovel of dirt was 93-year-old Mary L. Jordan who said “I got a certificate in Library Technology from here. I started coming out here in the 1980s. I have a degree in chemistry from Washington University as well.” The college, located in El Cajon, held their first classes in 1961. They currently have almost 19,00 full-and part-time students.
“I am so excited about this building. It will have 80-100 concerts a year,” noted Anthony Cutietta, with the college’s music department, who is also a musician in his own right.
Student trustee, Brandon Vivero, “It has helped me grow as a person and a student. They (the staff) challenge you to move forward,” he noted when asked how the trustee position and school has changed him.
“I will continue with the thanks” said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles, Ph.D., “To those who launched the campaign now we’re going to say this is something you can see.” Dr. Miles thanked the forces behind the campaign, the governing board, comprised of Greg Barr, Bill Garrett, Edwin Hiel, Debbie Justeson, and Mary Kay Rosinski. The student members are Evan Esparza and Sebastian Capareli.
Speakers besides the college’s president and chancellor were Bill Garrett, governing board president, and Bill McGreevy, Dean of Arts, Languages, and Communication.
The $35 million project phases will include a new science, math and career complex, a new liberal arts/business and technology complex and infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.
A mural by former faculty member, Victor Ochoa, had to be carefully dismantled to make way for construction. The mural will be rehung in the future.
Cookies, juices and fruit infused water were offered to the tens of guests after the ceremony. The attendees included college professors, El Cajon city councilmember Steve Goble, Gafcon staff, and more.