On a day Grossmont College is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an open house full of activities for the public, the campus is also marking a new beginning with the dedication of the Student and Administrative Services Building and Griffin Center.
A dedication ceremony, preceded by a flyover of vintage planes from Gillespie Field, is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April14, on the Main Quad of the El Cajon campus. The ceremony marks the completion of the $36.2 million, two-building project, which took about 1 ½ years to build.
College President Sunita “Sunny” Cooke said the building expansions have brought a stronger sense of community to the campus.
“More than anything, these facilities have brought everyone together from every corner of the campus,” she said. “What a fitting way to celebrate Grossmont’s first 50 years by embarking on the exciting journey ahead with the introduction of these newly-renovated facilities.”
The expansion and renovations of the two existing buildings was the last of 13 major projects funded by Proposition R, a 2002 facilities bond measure approved by East County voters in response to severe space shortages at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. The buildings reopened at the start of the spring semester to rave reviews from students.
Bill Garrett, president of the district Board of Trustees, said the remodeled facilities bring a satisfying closure to Proposition R’s transformation of Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.
“We stretched taxpayer dollars by renovating these two buildings instead of building from the ground up,” he said. “The district still has unmet facility needs, but thankfully, I know we have the confidence and backing of the public as we work toward upgrading our two campuses to best serve East County.”
The Student Services and Administration building was expanded by 16,000 square feet to create a 37,000-sqaure-foot center for student services, including admissions and records, assessment, financial aid, counseling, and more.
A few steps away, the refurbished student center features meeting rooms for student groups; ample seating for dining, lounging or study; easy access to a career center and other student services, as well as a lobby with a 10-foot video screen; four food stations, and a mini-market.
The revamped 46,734-square-foot Griffin Center, named for the college mascot, the griffin, involved renovation of about 27,000 square feet of the existing building and the expansion of nearly 20,000 square feet. The center also houses the offices and work areas of the Associated Students, the culinary arts program, student health services, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) for low-income students, the career center and job placement, a club room for student organizations, and Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS).
Designed by Architects Mosher Drew, the two buildings, which were renovated using sustainable materials and energy-conservation measures, are the first LEED-certified projects in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a rating system for the design, construction and operation of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.
The public is invited to stay following the brief building dedication to enjoy an array of Open House activities, including a world record attempt at noon in the Main Quad. Participants will receive free commemorative T-shirts.
Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. For more information about the two-day celebration, go to www.grossmont.edu/50years