Cypress College Celebrates Groundbreaking for New SEM Building

A groundbreaking ceremony on Friday (February 8, 2019) marked the beginning of construction on Cypress College’s new Science, Engineering and Math Building.

The ceremony marks the first project funded from the $574 million Measure J bond, which was approved by voters in 2014 on behalf of the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD). Providing state-of-the-art facilities to support the sciences was a top priority for North Orange County voters.

Funds from Measure J will facilitate the construction of a 106,023 square foot facility for Cypress College that will incorporate the creation of a 100-seat immersive digital classroom, as well as the addition of new lab spaces and classrooms with design features that allow for future expansion. The brand-new SEM Building will be open for classes in 2021. When completed, the building will be the first new instructional space to open on the campus since 1976 and the first new building since 2007.

With current and future students — along with employees and community members — in attendance for the ceremony, Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D., shared a quote from Carl Sagan: “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

“It is our goal to ensure that everyone in Cypress and North Orange County will know about science and technology, and that our college will continue to be a point of pride in this community,” Dr. Schilling said. “We believe that the science of today leads to the technology of tomorrow. And with your support, the technology of tomorrow will be created by the students who pass through the halls of Cypress College and this state-of-the-art building.”

Two current STEM students, an alumnus of the program, and a faculty member also spoke during the ceremony, held on the site of the new building. North Orange County Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Cheryl Marshall, and SEM Dean Richard Fee also shared their comments about what the new building will mean to students and the community.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the NOCCCD Board of Trustees awarded a construction bid to Sundt Companies, Inc. for the construction phase services of the project.

“Cypress College has served the North Orange County students and surrounding communities for over 52 years, and we are thrilled to start construction on this beautiful new addition to our college,” Dr. Schilling said following the Board decision. “We take pride in offering exemplary educational programs in science, engineering and math, and are proud to be contributing to the future careers of our students and the local businesses that employ our students.”

Cypress College’s SEM division contains 7 programs, including: Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Physical Science, and Physics. The division currently offers 289 course sections to 8,287 students.

The College invites families, staff, students and the community to celebrate the groundbreaking on February 8, starting at 9:30 a.m. Please park in Lot 1, located off the Valley View entrance to the campus. The ceremony will take place by the Pond in the center of campus.

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