Campus: BAKERSFIELD -- July 11, 2006

CSUB breaks ground for new science building

California State University, Bakersfield entered the next phase of its growth and development with a groundbreaking ceremony today for its newest campus building, the mathematics and computer science building.

The 54,651 square-foot building is being funded by Proposition 55 bond money, the statewide bond issue passed by California voters in March 2004. Bakersfield contractor S.C. Anderson Inc., has been awarded the $18.98 million contract.

The new building will have three stories and house some 15 laboratories, seven classrooms, and 70 faculty offices. The design has been part of a collaborative effort with different campus constituents to determine the needs for the campus. The designers of the project, STUDIOS Architecture of San Francisco, and the contractor, S.C. Anderson, have been jointly working on the plans for the structure. Scheduled completion date is winter quarter 2008.

It's also the first new science building at CSUB in more than 30 years. The first science building on campus opened in fall 1972; Science II opened in fall 1975.

CSUB President Horace Mitchell hailed the groundbreaking as the next step in the university's vision of excellence. "This long awaited new addition to the campus will allow us to expand our science and math programs to prepare our students for the 21st century economy," he said. "This new math and computer science building will provide our students and faculty a state-of-the-art facility in which to learn and conduct research. This building will allow us to move closer to the excellence in education for which we are striving."

Thomas Meyer, interim dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, echoed Mitchell. "I think it's high time that we got a new science building," he said. "Our computer science department has grown a lot in the past few years. We only have two computer labs and the facilities we have are badly outdated. The new building will have several new labs, including a computer hardware lab, a network lab, and a digital electronics lab. It will also have appropriate facilities for departmental computers, including a workshop area for repairs.

"It will also have an area for students to work on their projects and a departmental library. And it will have more general computer labs for introductory computer science classes. These labs will house standard personal computers, PCs and Macs, in addition to Unix-based operating systems.

"The hardware labs will allow us to offer classes in robotics and network security which are very important topics in modern computer science."

Julio Blanco, the incoming dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said he is delighted with the new building. "This ceremony marks the beginning of a new era for the school," said Blanco, who assumes his new post on Aug. 14. "The new science building will offer many more opportunities to our students. The efforts of the faculty, administrators and staff at CSUB that helped make this construction a reality will directly benefit the Bakersfield community."

Meyer said the university will remodel the two existing science buildings to house a new graduate program in biology and the graduate program in nursing.

Contact: Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu
Or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, jloveless@csub.edu


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