Cypress College officially unveils its two newest buildings — Science, Engineering, and Math (SEM) and the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) — the first new construction completed under the Measure J Bond project. The buildings are centerpiece projects of Measure J, a $574 million bond approved by voters in 2014 to provide next-generation facilities at Cypress College, Fullerton College, and North Orange Continuing Education.
The grand opening takes place in the new event plaza, adjacent to the VRC on Tuesday, October 19, starting at 10 a.m. Tours will follow the presentation and ribbon cutting ceremonies. RSVPs are available at tinyurl.com/SEMVRCGrandOpening.
In addition to the new construction, Cypress College also officially opens a renovated pond area, featuring a tribute garden and flags for each branch of the military to honor those who served along with a refurbished Student Life & Leadership building.
Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said these state-of-the-art buildings are representative of the kind of support the institution enjoys, and that the SEM and SLL/VRC buildings would not have been possible without the widespread backing of the community.
“This project represents a promise kept with our students and our neighbors, who generously supported our Measure J Bond project,” said Dr. Schilling. “Our STEM students now have a state-of-the-art lecture and lab facility replacing one that was designed before humans walked on the moon. These spaces — including the immersive digital classroom — will prepare our next generation of scientists, engineers, and chemists.”
The new 106,000-square-foot SEM building will serve as the campus collaboration hub, and includes research and teaching laboratories, interactive student resource areas, a multidisciplinary classroom, lecture spaces, and conference rooms. The new building is designed to have lasting use, with versatile design features that allow for future expansion. The new building effectively replaces and doubles the size of the old facility, which had been in use since the early 1970s. Groundbreaking for the new building began in late 2018. It is the first new instructional space to open on the campus since 1976.
Perhaps one of the most unique and exciting features of the new SEM building is the immersive digital classroom, a 96-seat theater that features motion projection on the domed ceiling, and the possibility of a planetarium to be added later on.
Cypress College’s new VRC will offer essential educational support services to veterans as they transition from active military duty to civilian life, and it has been specifically designed with their unique needs in mind. Veterans and military-affiliated students will have access to updated computers and technology, as well as private counseling rooms, social space, and a private patio in the new facility.