The San Diego Community College District held a grand opening ceremony for its newest campus Wednesday.
The West City Continuing Education Campus in Point Loma is the newest addition to the district and is replacing an old decrepit building next door.
Soltek Pacific and Project Management Advisors headed construction of the $18 million project, which was completed in two phases.
The first phase involved constructing a new two-story 38,390-square-foot facility, and was designed to be the "campus of excellence" for hospitality services and consumer sciences.
Inside the new building, there are technologically advanced smart classrooms, which are designed for classes in art, business information technology, sewing, fashion, parent education and English.
There is also a culinary arts department that houses a two-room demonstration kitchen.
One area is a classroom setting with height adjustable desks and a high-end kitchen in the front of the classroom complete with stovetop, oven and a flat screen TV with a camera, so students can get an up-close view of what's cooking, without leaving their seats.
The second area is an industrial kitchen, similar to many large restaurants, with a combination oven, gas range stove tops, deep fryer, broiler, large grill and griddle where students will be able to apply what was taught to them in the classroom.
The second phase began when the original West City campus, which is more than 50 years old and formerly an elementary school, was demolished and paved with asphalt to make way for a new student parking lot.
"We are proud to see this new facility come to fruition as it will be a new crown jewel for the community and the district," said Constance M. Carroll, San Diego Community College District chancellor of the new West City campus, which created more than 200 jobs. "Taxpayers should be pleased that their investment is paying off."
West City is the latest project to be completed under Propositions S and N, a $1.55 billion construction bond program passed by San Diego voters for new instructional facilities, major renovations and infrastructure projects at San Diego City College, Mesa College, Miramar College and six Continuing Education campuses.
Throughout the campus, which was designed by RJC Architects Inc., there are various sustainable amenities that make the project LEED Silver certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Some of these include low E-rated windows and solar tubes to help maximize natural daylight, and reducing energy demands with sensors automatically dimming lights in response to available lighting.
Also, low-flow and waterless plumbing fixtures are a part of the building, which according to school officials will reduce water consumption by over 40 percent when compared to a standard building and will save an estimated 386,000 gallons of water per year.
The building was made with a high percentage of recycled materials such as used newspapers for countertops, plastic materials for fences and old tires for play surfaces.
San Diego Gas & Electric also presented a check for $51,550 for participation in the Sustainable Communities Program, which works with building owners and design teams early on in the planning process to support efforts to build highly energy efficient buildings.
Others involved on the project included RBF/Flores Lund Consultants, civil and structural engineers; BSE Engineers, electrical engineer; MA Engineers, mechanical engineer; KEMA Services, environmental consultant; and Gafcon Inc., program manager.
CARLOS RICO, The Daily Transcript<.>