Page TitleNews Release Title


December 11, 2014

Jack Beresford

San Diego City College Celebrates Two New Buildings
Arts & Humanities and Business & Technology

$94.6 million in new construction houses students and faculty in state-of-the-art "green" facilities


SAN DIEGO – An energetic crowd of over 75 faculty, staff, students, and representatives from the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) turned out Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of new San Diego City College Arts & Humanities and Business & Technology buildings.

The $94.6 million dual-building project is comprised of a 128,000-square-foot, five-story Arts & Humanities building with a below-grade, 40-car parking structure, and a Student Commons; and a 62,000-square-foot, three-story Business & Technology building. The buildings share an open outdoor plaza.

"Thanks to San Diego's taxpayers, this dual-building project supports an interactive academic environment for students and faculty, and also promotes diverse learning opportunities, socialization, and collaboration through its conjoined open outdoor plaza." said San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance M. Carroll.

A two-story grand stairwell and an open-entry courtyard at the corner of 16th Street and C Street are now the main campus entry from the East Village Neighborhood, and like Rome, Italy's Spanish Steps, provides a wonderful public space for socialization.

The Arts & Humanities building includes space for Visual Arts, English, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Speech and Foreign Language, Honors, World Cultures, and the City Works programs. The building includes new classrooms, a lecture hall, computer labs, and studio space for drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and graphics courses. There is a 100-seat black-box theater with drama classrooms and related offices, as well as space for faculty and support staff. Exterior space includes a kiln yard, sculpture garden and display area, and gathering space for students and faculty.

citybldgsThe Business &Technology building includes new space for Business Studies, the Small Business Entrepreneurship Program, Business and Computer Systems, common areas and associated support space for faculty and staff. The project includes seven computer labs, classrooms, a lecture hall, and areas for start-up businesses for students in the Business Education program. Katie Lonthair, Vice President, Associated Students remarked, "The new Business & Technology building has so many new computers, the labs are bigger than I've ever seen, and they give so many of our students greater access to better achieve their goals. The Arts & Humanities building has so much space for all of our performing art students to truly express themselves - these new buildings give all of our students, myself included, the tools to help us toward bettering our lives and our futures."

"One thing that happens in both buildings is there is a  true dedication to student learning. We are a teaching institution and the professionals in both of these buildings  are so focused on the success of the students." Anthony E. Beebe, President, San Diego City College.

The design team looked for collaborative and synergistic opportunities when planning the spaces, such as placing performing arts and music next to visual arts classes. Business classes are next to a student operated café and business incubator space. The design intent was to visually express these learning and social situations with a great deal of transparency.

For these buildings, landscaping and streetscape treatments are designed to blend City College with the surrounding East Village streets with respect to street tree guidelines established for the downtown area by the Center City Development Corporation (CCDC). All plants were selected based on criteria that considered their drought-tolerance and compatibility with the downtown climate. A high-efficiency irrigation system will monitor and manage water usage.

Both projects are on track to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Rich Grosch, President, San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees, summed up the experience, "We need to thank the voters because the voters know the importance of a quality community college and what it does for the City of San Diego's community, economy, and future."

Sustainable Features:

  • The project takes advantage of multiple passive energy saving strategies, while still allowing in natural light and the site's beautiful views.
  • Deep overhangs and horizontal louvers help reduce heat gain on the south sides of the buildings, where the sun will be highest.
  • Vertical louvers are used to shade the large glazed area on the east side of the Business & Technology building, where the sun will be lowest.
  • Large openings on the north side of the buildings are used to take advantage of as much natural light as possible.
  • The project uses innovative approaches for interior climate control to reduce overall energy consumption by 20%.
  • The mild climate of San Diego allows for the natural ventilation of all common spaces, greatly reducing the need for active air conditioning.
  • For other spaces, displacement ventilation and supplemental radiant heating take advantage of natural thermal movement to reduce energy use.
  • Almost all storm water on site is filtered through a 6'-0" deep natural filtration basin covering approximately6,500 square feet of the project central plaza.

Project Team:

  • Architect: Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects
  • Construction Manager: PCL
  • Structural Engineer: Stedman and Dyson Structural Engineers
  • Electrical Engineer/Mechanical Engineer:Exp, Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: Wallace Roberts & Todd
  • Propositions S & N Program Manager: Gafcon, Inc.
  • Campus Project Manager: Thomas J. Fine, CCM, JE Moore Consulting
  • Furniture, Fixture & Equipment (FF&E) Project Manager: Eloisa Raymundo, Gafcon, Inc.

The $1.555 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program is providing new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities, major renovations, and campus wide infrastructure projects at City, Mesa and Miramar colleges and seven Continuing Education campuses throughout San Diego. For more information, please visit For high-resolution photographs or renderings, contact Alicia Cook at (858) 875-0087 or

Description: Gafcon
Alicia Cook
Communications & Graphics Manager
San Diego Community College District – Propositions S and N
direct 858.875.0087 | main 858.875.0010 | mobile 832.627.8073
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