Southwestern College broke ground on two new campus buildings, the Performing Arts Center and the College Police Building, Wednesday, Sept. 10. The ceremony, held on the site of the future Performing Arts Center, included performances by Southwestern College’s mariachi, Mariachi Garibaldi, the Dance Department and theatre students.
The new Performing Arts Center will include a 500-seat auditorium, a 151-seat black box theatre, brand new classrooms, a stage construction lab and a new home for dance classes and performances. The 48,000 square-foot facility will be situated next to the new Wellness & Aquatics Complex, on the corner of Otay Lakes Road and H Street, and is set to be completed in Summer 2020.
“The arts are not just about drawing, acting, dancing or playing an instrument,” said Governing Board President Griselda Delgado. “They are a critical component for brain development and giving students access and ease into learning. The arts transform students into scholars, leaders and college graduates.”
The new College Police Building, situated in parking lot C, will be home to a modernized dispatch center, expanded offices and storage space, an evidence processing facility, locker rooms, a secure armory and an emergency operations center. The building will open in summer 2019.
“Police, security and public safety are a critical function of our college,” said College Police Chief Davis Nighswonger. “While you may not always see them, they are there. I’d like to thank our community and our governing board for supporting our shared goals of not only providing exceptional educational opportunities but also a healthy and safe environment for our students and our community.”
Both projects are funded by Proposition Z, Southwestern College’s $400 million general obligation bond passed by South Bay voters in November 2016 with record approval. Among the next phase of projects under consideration are a new Student Union and an expansion of the Higher Education Center in San Ysidro.