Building for a better tomorrow

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By Lauren Garcia / Asst. News Editor

No Parking (Except for Bulldozers) (Ashley Robinson / Asst. Photo Editor)

By Lauren Garcia / Asst. News Editor

Two new buildings are on their way to the Riverside City College campus and can be expected for opening as early as the fall of 2011 or winter of 2012.

The largest building of 85 thousand square feet will consist of four floors dedicated to life science, mathematics, physical science and chemistry.

The smaller building of about 32 thousand square feet will be dedicated to the Nursing program.

The intent with the new buildings are to increase the number of disciplines offered as well as lab spaces said Virginia McKee-Leone, dean of instruction.

“We hope to create a smart classroom environment with the most modern state of the art technology,” McKee-Leone said.

In the life science building, students can look forward to a new learning center with increased computer access, as well as facilities with specialized equipment and laboratories accompanied with computers for classes such as chemistry allowing them to complete virtual labs.

Programs will also be available on computers for students in life science classes, which will allow them to do DNA work.

“Students will be exposed to technology, techniques and tools of the progressive tomorrow,” McKee-Leone said.

The Nursing Program will soon be expanding as they move into the new buildings.

Additional technology will be offered in the new facilities. There will be more human patient simulators for the students to work on, a virtual hospital with a pediatric and intensive care unit and video streaming will be expanding, which allows students to get lectures from class via video.

“More classes will be offered in all disciplines allowing more students to join the program,” Sandy Baker, dean of nursing said. “We hope to increase the number of nurses in the community.”

Both Deanna Tyson and Rosanna Nunez are beginning their third semester in the Nursing Program.

“It’s really cool that they’re going to have a virtual hospital,” Tyson said. “Even though we will be graduating before it’s all finished.”

Nunez is looking forward to more room at the college, especially in the program.

“As it was, we were fighting to try and get into the class,” Nunez said. “It can really get crazy.”

The project has been in planning stages for about 10 years. Initially the project was going to be around $85 million for both buildings. However, due to the tough economy, Baker said the bid is now about 20 to 40 percent less than projected.

The funding for this project is coming from both state construction funds as well as The Measure C fund. This fund is a $350 million bond, which California residents voted for, and is solely dedicated towards the building of infrastructures. Forty million dollars of the bond is going towards the project and the rest will be coming from state funds.

The location of the new buildings has changed a surprising four times. At first, the buildings were going to be where student services is, then at the spot of the Auto Technology building. Then the location jumped to the Administration building and now the set location is on Magnolia Avenue in parking Lot A and part of Lot B.

As for parking, there is a parking structure in the master plans that would be built in the lower campus, connecting it with the upper campus.

With many exciting improvements on their way to RCC, both students and staff can look forward to a larger campus with additional services to offer.

(Ashley Robinson / Asst. Photo Editor)

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