Projects ease congestion

Long-awaited Campus Center nears completion

By The Advocate, Editorial Board

Despite Contra Costa College undergoing open heart construction for two years now, its faculty, students and administrators have managed to keep its other organs from failing.

Being able to maintain daily academic operations during this time of construction is mainly due to the efforts at the Contra Costa Community College District level.

The Advocate praises CCCCD for meeting the needs of CCC’s students navigating around the $52 million Campus Center and Classroom Project by expediting the remodel of the entrance onto campus and re-opening student-only parking lots along Campus Drive.

The completion of these two projects could not have come at a more convenient time for students due to an influx of carpenters, electricians, painters, pavers and landscapers who need a place to park until they can complete the interior work.

Two years ago, just after the Humanities, Student Activity buildings and the Amphitheatre were torn down, the site for the Campus Center project looked like a mass grave.

Now, however, the metal skeleton of the three-story structure is now mostly fleshed out and students walking by are able to envision what the new heart of the campus will look like once completed.

Interim President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said the Campus Center project is on schedule to be completed and fully operational by the 2016 fall semester.

And once it is completed this time next year, CCC’s new facilities will rival that of its sister colleges Diablo Valley and Los Medanos.

According to the TBP Inc., an architectural and planning firm, website the project will open up three new buildings.

These include a Classroom Building, a Student Activities Building and a Fireside Community Building.

And once the project is complete, CCC will have 11 “smart” classrooms, four computer labs, a 200-seat lecture hall, division and faculty offices within the new Classroom Building.

During the week of Aug. 3 to Aug. 7, Mehdizadeh said she and members of the district Governing Board were given a tour to see the progress of reconstructing the inside of the campus’ new heart.

“We were given the chance to go to the top floor of the main building,” she said. “And most of the classrooms, there have gorgeous views of Mount Tamalpais.”

The new Student Activities Building will house many student-oriented programs such as the Student Life Office, culinary arts, Bookstore, Career Tech Education and Middle College High School.

Administration, business services, research and planning, economic development and grants, Faculty Senate will also be moved into this building once it is complete.

And while the interior of the buildings will provide high tech educational tools, facilities and stunning views, the area around the buildings will add many new areas for students to relax in between classes.