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Mesa College Opens $40M Behavioral Sciences Building


2/11/15 - By Matthew Bowler

Mesa College Opens $40M Behavioral Sciences Building

A $40.5 million, three-story classroom building opened at San Diego Mesa College on Wednesday for social and behavioral science courses.

The nearly 74,000-square-foot structure is one of several new facilities to open in the last several years at Mesa, City and Miramar colleges. Funding for the new building comes from $1.5 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program.

Mesa College president Pamela Luster said the building will quickly be filled with students, because the social and behavioral science are the core of a college education.

“So, in the first two years, students are generally taking history anthropology, psychology, sociology, communication studies, and those are all housed in this building,” Luster said.

The U.S. Green Building Council certified the building as Leed Silver, meaning construction and design have several environmentally friendly features, including a roof that reduces heat, fixtures that minimize water use and sensors that dim lights when they sense sunlight.

President of San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees, Maria Nieto Senour, said the new building show’s Mesa’s commitment to academia.

“It’s going to support academic disciplines that are at the heart of the social services that our community and our government provide for residents,” Senour said. “It also houses other disciplines that are pertinent to the humanities and the understanding of the fundamental principles of human behavior and history.”

The new building also makes it possible for Mesa to offer courses usually reserved for four-year universities.

“This building does is bring us state of the art labs now where students can actually do research as part of their first two years of community college,” Luster said. “Thats a very different environment than we’ve been able to provide before.”

Campus construction isn’t over. More Proposition S and N buildings are under construction. Luster said they are about four buildings into their ambitious construction plan that aims to be done in two years.

Luster said even though construction is booming, not all of Mesa's needs will be filled.

“At the end of these bonds we will still need a theater, we’ll need a new gymnasium, our pool is still pretty aged, so on the edges of campus in two of our largest programs in physical education, exercise science and also in fine arts and performing arts, we still have some work to do,” Luster said
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