By Eric Althoff
GLENDALE, Calif.—Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian and other civic leaders signed their names to the final beam set into place atop Glendale Community College District’s New Science Building (NSB), which will be ready to welcome students in the fall of 2023.
The $90 million building is needed, considering that the community college will be welcoming a larger student body in the years to come, particularly in the scientific fields.
Over five stories of space, the NSB will serve the greater GCC community student body in both the physical and biological sciences. The 116,000-square-foot facility will feature a 125-seat lecture hall, 31 science laboratories, faculty offices, as well as dedicated learning and instruction space for such fields of study as chemistry, biology, oceanography, geology and biotech. The new laboratories are designed to adhere to educational chemistry safety standards set forth by the American Chemical Society.
The NSB will also connect to other campus structures, including the Camino Real, San Gabriel and Health Sciences buildings.
The venue is replacing smaller facilities spread out across multiple structures, including the San Gabriel, Arroyo Seco and Camino Real buildings. By bringing all of these instruction capabilities together under one roof, Glendale Community College will be better able to refine its focus on STEM education and scientific research.
HMC Architects designed the NSB. General contractor DPR Construction and Gafcon were on hand at the recent topping-out ceremony, and will continue to oversee the construction efforts at the site.
In a statement sent to School Construction News, DPR Construction said that working on a hilly site such as this one, in the foothills of Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains, required managing a creative flow of both workers and materials.
“The beautiful Glendale Community College campus flows down a hillside. However, this topography makes it difficult to carve out enough flat land to build compared to open, flat campuses,” DPR’s statement said. “To prepare the New Science Building footprint, we built a large shoring wall and removed thousands of cubic yards of material.”
Much of the funding for the new building came from Measure GC, a bond program passed in 2016 by Glendale voters to upgrade several buildings across Glendale Community College’s various campuses.
Under the current construction timeline, most of the construction work will be completed next July, and be ready for students to move in for classes in the fall of 2023.
DPR Construction is headquartered in Northern California’s Redwood City. Their other educational projects in the Golden State include work at CSU Long Beach and UC Santa Cruz.