Black and red balloons waved near the entrance of the P building during its grand re-opening Feb. 4 on Park Blvd. Renamed the Health, Exercise Science and Athletics Building, Kathy McGinnis, Dean of Athletics joined fellow faculty members to open the doors of this completely renovated state-of-the-art building.
City College President Terry Burgess also joined the festivities as well as District Chancellor Constance Carroll, members of the District Board of Trustees and construction project managers.
The $10.9 million project was funded by propositions S and N which were approved in 2002 and 2006. Burgess noted that special thanks go to citizens who supported the two bond measures.
“San Diegans voted to tax themselves $1.55 billion.to give City the chance to transform into a 21st century campus over the next five years. The P Building reopening as the Health, Exercise Science and Athletics Building is just another step towards that.”
Carroll later noted that members of the Citizens’ Oversight Project Committee, “made sure those funds transferred directly to our education programs by meeting quarterly to “make sure investments (were) well spent.”
David Umstot, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management, was quick to share details on the building by noting that its construction was new and innovative.
“The rooms have open ceilings with the beams wrapped with reinforcement, but left exposed,” Umstot explained. “This cuts down immensely on costs.”
Umstot also boasted that the two-story, 24,615 square foot building won the 2008 “Design Visionary Award” by the American Institute of Architects.
Board of Trustee Peter Zschiesche stressed the importance of health science education for City College students.
“We have an epidemic of obesity in America,” Zschiesche explained. “Health should be a science. What you put in your mouth is of consequence. How you treat your body is of consequence.”
The $10.9 million project is a huge change from older facilities available to students.
“Built in the 1960s, many of us have taught (here). and just had
to make due with what we had,” Kathy McGinnis, Dean of Athletics, explained.
ASG President David Campbell shared his memory of the old “P” building when he decided to sign up for a weight training class after commercial gym memberships became too expensive.
“The building was run down and the equipment was pretty old,” Campbell shared with the audience. “This semester, though, I signed up for another class and I was ‘stoked,’ stoked being a synonym for excessively excited.”
Campbell, who had just come from working out in the facility, noted the great water pressure and curtains for the showers, as he shook out his damp hair.
McGinnis ended the ceremony by expressing that the new facilities, “mean so much more than just an outlet for fitness for students; it’s the future of City College.”
McGinnis took her guests on a tour of the building, by showing them the new offices for faculty members. The tour also included a stop at the men’s and women’s locker rooms, with individual showers and laundry facilities. The Dean of Athletics also stopped by a spin class to show off the gym floor that was removed, polished and re-installed. Another stop on the tour included the new athletic medicine room, soon to have whirlpool
spas and physical exam rooms.
“The students are really pleased with our facilities and our classes are packed,” McGinnis added.