By Mario A. Cortez
Southwestern College administrators celebrated the opening of the Chula Vista campus’ new Math and Science Building with a ribbon cutting ceremony this Thursday, June 12.
The $86-million, two-story, complex is the new home of Southwestern College’s School of Math, Science, and Engineering (MSE) and will house courses in subjects from biology to physics. The center will also provide a hub for new, in-demand programs like fermentation and drone technologies.
The new structure replaces old MSE classrooms and facilities on the southern edge of campus, which have been in use for over 50 years. Summer school courses began at the new site on Monday.
The Math and Science Building was designed for a LEED SIlver certification, with efficient irrigation and energy-saving mechanisms.
As Michael Odu, dean of Southwestern’s MSE department, said to La Prensa San Diego, the new complex is a much needed addition to the college as it will, “increase the number of classrooms available for impacted courses and create an environment where students will be able to succeed.”
“The courses being taught here are the future; you cannot touch anything that doesn’t go (involve) math and science nowadays,” he added. “The curriculum taught here will prepare our students for the future and to perform highly at four-year colleges.”
The inauguration festivities also guided tours of the facilities and demonstrations of coursework and lectures available inside. Visitors had the chance to fly a drone, see a shark dissection, learn about beer making, and see work on a synthetic cadaver.
The new Math and Science Building was built using project funds from Proposition R, a general-obligation, $389-million bond approved by voters in 2008. Specialized teaching supplies and classroom equipment for the STEM-related courses at the building were also purchased with funds from Proposition R.
The new building is the latest in a series of new or renovated facilities at Southwestern College’s main campus. The main campus’ Aquatics and Wellness Center opened in April 2018. A new resource center for DACA beneficiaries was also opened in May of this year at the former site of the Math Center, which is now hosted inside the new building.
Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City also opened its Plaza Building expansion in February 2018, which houses lab rooms, a lecture hall, and a medical clinic.
While work on the new Math and Science Building has concluded, construction work will continue at Southwestern College. Administrators broke ground on a new performing arts center and a campus police building this past September.