Renovating into the 21st century

Construction on the A building set to begin in July, completed by 2018


An early rendering of an aerial view of the A building post renovation. Photos courtesy of Tom Fine and RJC Architects

Justine Schulz

One of San Diego City College’s upcoming changes in the next few years includes the renovation of the A building, which will give the campus a transformed look.

The A building’s new design, which took 18 months to plan out, has a $25.7 million budget.

The other new and renovated buildings at City College opened double the number of classrooms since the start of the Propositions S and N bond program, allowing the old classrooms in the A building to be occupied by Student Services after the renovation.

According to Michelle McCurdy, a nurse practitioner, Student Health Services will be relocated in the E building during the renovations. McCurdy mentioned that she assumes the health clinic will be closed for one or two days during the relocation process, but will not greatly affect the services offered to students.

McCurdy said the renovated A building will have the clinic in the bookstore’s current spot.

“The space will be bigger, it’ll be nicer and we’re looking forward to it,” McCurdy said.

San Diego City College Project Manager Tom Fine said he considers performing the renovation in a single phase a big challenge. Due to the circumstances, Student Services will be required to move into temporary spaces in various parts of the campus during the renovation.

However, the biggest attraction will be the removal of part of the A building to open up Schwartz Plaza, which will bring some synergy to the huge space between the A and T buildings, according to Fine.

“That space is currently a big, dark canyon, and the newly renovated area will give students and faculty the ability to use that space for gathering, hanging out or just access to and from the two buildings,” Fine said via email.

Fine mentions that the removal of the southeast wing of the building will be one of the major changes in the project. Tearing down the wall allows the L building, or the Academic Success Center, to be connected to the rest of the functioning services in the A building.

“This change alone will bring the overall community of the campus back together both physically and relationally,” Fine said.

The renovations for the A building will begin in July and are scheduled for completion in July 2018.

The cafeteria, which is located in the D building right next to the A building, however, will not be undergoing any renovations. The voters of San Diego who passed the Prop. N bond did not include the cafeteria in any of the projects at City College.

“Because of this, we are only able to implement the scope of work that was included in the approved bond language,” Fine said.