More than 100 students, Southwestern College employees and community members gathered on June 12 to celebrate the opening of Southwestern College’s Math and Science Building, the newest STEM-dedicated education facility in San Diego County.
Already serving our students for a semester, the $85.6 million Math and Science Building has expanded Southwestern College’s curriculum by giving students access to state-of-the-art labs, classrooms and lecture halls.
“This place is where dreams can be nurtured, where dreams can be grown,” said Margie Stinson, biology professor. “Our students now see a light aiming at the university. More of them are stepping forward into the future rather than looking at where they have been.”
Community members were invited to experience and witness the demonstration of the new facilities, including a synthetic cadaver, a drone demonstration, a 3-D printer demonstration, shark dissection and the fermentation lab.
The building is a cornerstone for many of Southwestern College’s innovative and in-demand programs, like the new fermentation and drone programs, as well as home to some of Southwestern College’s most popular majors like biology, chemistry, math, geology and physics.
Located on the northwest section of campus, the two-story building replaces multiple buildings and classrooms that were more than 50 years old. Demolition of the old 300 buildings on the east end of the Chula Vista campus and planning and construction on the next wave of projects are expected to begin soon.
The Math and Science Building gives new and expanded spaces to the Math Center and the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program. More good things are coming as the math and science faculty and staff work to finish the building’s greenhouse and telescope platform.
“With this new facility, we are not only in a better position today to transform the lives of our community members by meeting all students where they are and taking them to where they need to be,” said Michael Odu, dean of the School of Mathematics, Science & Engineering, “but we are in a better position to challenge the UCs and CSUs in the delivery of quality, equity-minded education and producing global citizens who would re-engineer the system to make it work better for everyone.”
The new building was funded by Proposition R, the college’s $389 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2008. It was designed by Marlene Imirzian & Associates Architects and built by Rudolph and Sletten, the same company building the district’s new Performing Arts Center.