City will have a new student services center, just not yet

Interior+of+Mesa+College+student+servies+center.+Mary+Watson%2C+City+Times
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City will have a new student services center, just not yet

Interior of Mesa College student servies center. Mary Watson, City Times

Interior of Mesa College student servies center. Mary Watson, City Times

Interior of Mesa College student servies center. Mary Watson, City Times

Interior of Mesa College student servies center. Mary Watson, City Times

Klarissa Sanchez

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Now that Mesa College has inaugurated its state-of-the-art Student Services building, City students might be wondering why they don’t have such a facility.

The answer is that they will have one, but not for another couple of years.

The Students Services facility at Mesa opened on Feb. 25. The four story, 85,000-square-foot building includes new facilities for student services. All of the departments are arranged around an open four-level atrium, where students can interact with each other and the various departments in a single location. It also provides students with a lot of studying space and a mini store with snacks and coffee.

Ailene Crakes, Counseling Department Chairwoman at Mesa College, works in the new center. She explains that the new building “is now a one-stop shop.”

The building benefits students by preventing them from wandering around campus looking for different services. “In the past, students had to be directed to different offices, which are located in various parts of the campus. These key services are now in one building, which makes it more convenient for the students,” said Crakes.

Crakes explains that not only is this a place for students to take care of all their matters for student services, but that the new state-of-the art building is “now their home.”

City College Student Government President Daniel Caldera is taking a class at Mesa campus this semester and does some of his studying in the new building. “It’s a really nice center. It reminds me of the Price Center at UCSD,” said Caldera.

However, it’s a different story at City College.

All the student services at City have not been renovated in years and are not available to students in a single location, like the one at Mesa.

Caldera states that many students are not familiar with where all the student services centers are located.

“So we do have student centers at City College. We have one in this building, it’s D-105. It’s really secluded so a lot of students don’t really know about this one but this is where the student government and a lot of clubs on campus like All Out at City and Phi Theta Kappa meet,” said Caldera, when asked where the student centers are located.

At City, the A, D, M and T buildings are the ones that house services to students. The good news is that they plan on being renovated in the upcoming years.

According to Thomas Fine, project manager of City College’s new construction and renovation, the M building is scheduled for renovation as early as 2014, if the Department of State Architect approves the design. “By my estimate, the M Building renovation would start in February or March of 2014 and complete in May 2015, and available to students in Summer of 2015,” said Fine.

It will include space for Student Government, student clubs, and Student Affairs. Hanna Gabriel Wells, who also designed the Student Services Center at Mesa, is the architect that is providing design services for the M building.

Buildings A, D and T still have to go through the design process and the DSA review process. The construction will begin after DSA approval.

These buildings will offer services such as Admissions, Financial Aid, Evaluations & Testing, Counseling, Veteran’s Affairs, International Admissions, Assessment, CalWORKS, Health Services, Outreach, Mental Health Services, Student Success Initiatives, Transfer & Career Center, New Horizons, TRIO and Business Services.

Fine estimates that it would take a couple of years before the new A, D, and T buildings will be available to students.

“We anticipate that it will take a year for the design process, another 10-12 months for DSA to review the design, and then two to three years for construction after that. With that, I would estimate that the new A, D and T Building Student Services space would be available to students sometime in late 2017 to early 2018,” said Fine.

Caldera has seen images of the student centers and believes that it’ll be right up the alley with Mesa College.

“I mean at the moment there’s really no comparison. Unfortunately because we’re out-of-date but I would imagine from the blue prints that I’ve seen, it might be comparable to what their student center looks like right now. I’m really excited to see what it’s going to look like,” said Caldera.

The work being done is funded by Propositions S and N which raised more than $1.5 billion for new construction and renovations at the district’s three colleges and six adult education centers.

For more information on construction projects visit http://public.sdccdprops-n.com.