Sciences Building celebrates completion at Grand Opening


Video production: Katie Groat/Lariat Photo Editor

A monumental new structure, showcasing sleek, modern designs and a multitude of classes, has been built in honor of all sciences. With the introduction of the new Sciences Building, students no longer have to use the Math and Sciences Building to complete their courses. Instead, they can stay focused in a brand-new, comforting environment with many locations that allow them to sit down and study before class.

On September 29, there was a grand opening that helped celebrate that for which this building stands and everyone who helped this dream become a reality. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College, explained the purpose and design of this building.

“The building was designed to carry on Saddleback’s proud tradition of supplying student research. [It has] 117 sections of science classes serving over 3000 students. [The building] is truly an environmental marvel, with eco friendly design and construction that earned a prestigious leadership in energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

Science faculty and staff members collaborated with C.W. Driver to help make this building a fully functional learning facility, whilst still leaving little impact on the environmental.

From the entrance of the building, you are greeted with a collage of windows that lean over each other and create an inverted slope. On one side, these windows become narrower from the top-down, giving it a box cutter shape. Then, on the opposite side, there is a large section of the building that protrudes outward and houses Chemistry classes.

Angled walls, which somewhat resemble the end of a vacuum nozzle, welcome visitors as they walk through a row of tripled double doors. Inside, there is a spacious opening that grows as you look up because of the sloping windows.

As visitors go up stairs, each floor holds a ring of classes that line the outside walls of the building. At the top floor there is a bridge that leads to the Quad. In her speech at the grand opening  Debra Fitzsimons, Interim Chancellor, mentions that connection between the front entrance courtyard and the quad reflect continuity between students and staff.

Achieving the (LEED) Gold rating had a large influence on the design of the building. C.W Driver the construction company responsible for building the sciences building, stated that it was “Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the new Sciences building boasts sustainable features comprising a network-controlled lighting system, which includes occupancy sensors to minimize lighting electrical loads, advanced HVAC systems, expansive window openings and a large skylighting in the atrium to promote daylighting and reduce the need for ambient electrical lighting.”

Environmental influence in this new building is so important that anyone who is involved in this project never fails to mention its green features and (LEED) Gold standard.

T.J Prendergast, a Trustee who was given a tour of the building during its construction, was told that space is an important aspect. All space is utilized, labs and items are stored accordingly in order to give students and teachers more room to learn. Large open space in the center of the building “helps move air flow,” making it easier to cool the entire building.

James R. Wright, Vice President of the Board, who fathered this project since it began back in 2009 said that his space is also designed to “allow students to get together and study.”

C.W. Driver stated that, “Each of the three floors contain shared support, office, teaching and gathering spaces woven between the labs – further promoting interdisciplinary communication.”

Education defines every floor which house certain studies of science. On the first floor you have laboratories dedicated to physics, astronomy, geology, oceanography, and paleontology. The second floor provides students with anatomy, biology, biochemistry, physiology, and microbiology laboratories and lastly, the third floor is dedicated to chemistry. Altogether the building holds up to 26 laboratories and five classrooms.

Many people attending the grand opening were satisfied bringing up its interesting design and abundance of space.

“It rocks,” said Dr. David Bugay, VC, HR & Employer Employe relations. “This is the future, it will help students advance quickly”

Over all this modern building sports a clean, rectangular theme that may inspire and house many great minds of the future. A virtual mini tour of the new building can be found here. 

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