L Building reopening offers one-step academic center

Vanessa Gomez

After 17 months of demolition, structural upgrades, interior renovation and fenced-off areas, the L building on campus reopens to feature the Academic Success Center.

The Academic Success Center will combine numerous student sources, such as tutorial and advisement services, as well as general purpose classrooms.

Vice President Peter White was on hand to discuss some details of the building that was once the school library in the 1970s.

“Students will benefit,” White commented. “Every service from the new building will increase the square footage of the area each program had before.”

White felt that having all the student sources in one building would lead City students and City staff to greater success.

“Staff members will benefit too,” White said. “Now they all work in close proximity to one another. They won’t be spread all over campus anymore. Now they can just refer students down the hall, creating a synergy. The programs will feed each other.”

The renovation, led by general contractor, HAR Construction, carried a price tag of over $7 million dollars for 28,700 square feet. White responded positively to the costs of the project.

“How is it possible that we’re remodeling the L building during the one of the worst budget crisis we’ve seen in years?” White asked. “It’s simple, there are two different budgets. The state budget, which is very low right now, pays for classes, staff, teachers. But there is a second budget, that the voters approved, which by law, can only be used for construction. Therefore, the new building won’t necessarily be fully staffed.”

White also commented on the possibility of the L building opening without a full staff.

“You don’t really want to build a building that’s fully staffed,” White explained. “It’s better to be playing catch up, so you overbuild forgrowth, and over (the next) 20 to 30 years we’re going to fill those buildings with the growing staff and budget.”

According to the San Diego Business Journal, the project included “replacements of the elevators, exterior doors and windows, and interior stairs.” New ceilings, interior partitions and architectural finishes are just some of the brand new additions to the building. The indoor also features “subway tiling” greeting students with inspirational messages as they travel the halls.

Some “green” features of the new L building feature waterless urinals and electric hand-dryers, reducing energy consumption. Other restroom fixtures were made with material “derived from 100 percent post-consumer/post industrial recycled glass.” “All exterior aluminum windows” with “thermal-setting powder coat finish” were installed to help control the building’s overall temperature.