October 13, 2000
San Diego City College is in the
midst of a $33 million building boom, including a new Educational
Technology Center building that opened last month and groundbreaking
for a $20 million library. An $11 million gymnasium is on the
drawing board for the college with construction expected to begin
in early 2002.
The Educational Technology Center is a 2-story, 8,000 square feet facility with "smart classrooms" that will be equipped with the latest technology in videoconferencing, distance learning and "other technology tools to enhance the delivery of instruction," said San Diego Community College District Chancellor Augie Gallego.
"The facility was built with maximum flexibility to change as technology changes but with the least amount of disruption to the building," Chancellor Gallego added.
Among the building features are "raceways" under the floors to quickly and easily update technology by adding or removing fiber optic cable or other connecting devices as needs change.
Gallego said that, in addition to providing videoconferencing and other technology tools, the $2 million facility may also serve as a training ground for construction contractors, electricians and others involved in the building trades.
"We expect that in the future homes will be built like this facility in the sense that all homes will be build as smart homes with plans for technology and to easily upgrade technology without tearing down walls and floors," Gallego said. "One reason we don't have this happening on a large scale now is that not many people know how to integrate technology into buildings and homes. However, that is precisely the type of training we hope to provide here for people in the building industry."
Construction on the $20 million Learning Resource Center library and information retrieval services building began last month. The three-story, 67,000 square feet facility will have the latest information retrieval resources for students when it is completed in early 2002, including 350 Internet-connected computers.
The existing library, which is severely crowded during peak use, was built for a college of about 4,500 students, yet City College now serves 14,000 students each semester.
City College's $11 million gymnasium planned for construction in 2002 is somewhat of a rarity among community colleges. It will be one of only a few community college gymnasiums approved in recent years to receive state construction funds. The existing gymnasium is too small for a regulation basketball court so the City College Knights practice and play home games at San Diego High School or other facilities.
City College is part of the San Diego Community College District, which serves more than 100,000 students each semester through three colleges and six Continuing Education Centers.