Student Center Opens

Marc S. Posner
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
May 9, 2008

Perhaps the best has been saved for last. For the second time in a week, Cypress College has opened a new building — the Student Center — completing the recent phase of new construction that began with the passage of the Measure X bond in 2002.

The Student Center, which opened on Tuesday, becomes one of the anchor buildings for the campus’ pond area, acting as a destination on the west end of the pond in concert with the Library/Learning Resource Center as the primary draw at the east end.

Significantly, the Student Center also becomes the figurative front door to the campus — a place where new students can begin their interaction with the college.

The two-story, 30,642-square-foot building provides the college with its first one-stop location for student services.

Among the services included in the glass-front building, which sweeps around the campanile, are Admissions and Records, the Bursar’s Office, Counseling, an information booth, the Honors Program, Transfer Center and Career Planning Center. Food Services and student Photo I.D. will join in as Student Center tenants in the near future.

Architecturally, the building is a companion to the smaller, singlestory, Bookstore Building, which opened a week before the Student Center. The Bookstore also incorporates some employee services, such as the campus Production Center and Extended Day operations as well as a warehouse for bookstore inventory.

Functionally, the Student Center has ties to the Cypress College Complex, home to additional student services such as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Disabled Student Programs and Services, CARE, CalWORKS and Financial Aid.

In fact, the Financial Aid office is a matter of feet away from Admissions and Records — a far cry from the days when those two critical services were separated by a walking distance measured in minutes and a flight of stairs to boot (and that was without construction barriers).

The opening also brings to reality a vision of a campus with the pond area at the heart of student life. In addition to the L/LRC and the Student Center, Student Activities is a third anchor of the area.

The Student Center is the last of the new buildings to come to campus. In addition to the Bookstore and L/LRC, the college has also built a new Maintenance & Operations facility and a new home for the School of Continuing Education.

Work on the Student Center began in July, 2005, when part of the piazza — the college’s upper-level walkway — was removed to make way for the building, which was then conceived as a single structure incorporating the Bookstore.

That September, relocation of underground utilities began — a lengthy, but necessary operation to keep them from becoming covered, and inaccessible, once the foundation was poured.

Nearly two years ago, to the day, on April 19, 2006, a groundbreaking ceremony was held as work began on the building itself. Topping off, which generally marks the mid-point of a construction project and the placement of the final piece of structural steel, was held on April 11, 2007.

Construction of the Student Center, Bookstore and the major renovation for the Student Activities Center cost $25.1 million and were funded from a variety of sources, including Measure X (a local facilities bond), local funds, and state money.

Cypress College has motivated the minds of nearly a half-million students — including actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses and teachers. Cypress College has been a springboard to their dreams. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice and for others it provides essential training for a rewarding career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 14,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. The college, founded in 1966, serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Stanton. Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22 and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Cypress College offers 58 university-transfer majors, 141 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 51 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs just $20 per unit — just $60 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships also are available to qualifying students.

More information about Cypress College is available by calling (714) 484-7000 or by visiting the campus Web site at