San Diego Community College District representatives, San Diego Mesa College faculty members, and project team members gathered recently to commemorate the milestone with a traditional topping out ceremony.
“Students and faculty members can look forward to this being an exceptional facility, representing the largest and one of the most complex projects being built on the San Diego Mesa College campus with Proposition S and N construction bond funds,” said David Umstot, vice chancellor of facilities management for the San Diego Community College District. “Construction is going smoothly, and we’re on target for completion in August of next year.”
The $110 million Math and Science Building occupies the area immediately east of the existing Learning and Resource Building and south of the I-300 Building. McCarthy construction crews disassembled three older buildings on the site before breaking ground for the new facility in August of 2011. Construction has required careful monitoring and managing to minimize disruption to regular campus activities.
Designed by Architects | Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker, the new San Diego Mesa College Math and Science Building will provide new educational space for students pursuing degree and certificate programs in biology, chemistry, physical sciences and mathematics. The building will house four floors of classrooms, computer classrooms, and teaching lab classrooms, as well as faculty, staff and administrative support space. Specialized areas will include a greenhouse and an astronomy observation center.
The project team is targeting LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. All classrooms, teaching laboratories, and the majority of the staff offices will optimize the use of natural daylight. The windows will utilize high-performance, low “E” glazing that will allow natural daylight to enter the building, while rejecting unwanted ultraviolet and infrared light waves. This, in turn, will help reduce the amount of energy required to condition the building. The roofing construction will consist of a cool-roof material, which also will reflect unwanted energy and reduce the amount of energy consumed.
Consistent with sustainable design practices, many of the interior finishes at the new San Diego Mesa College Math and Science Building will be made from recycled material or rapidly renewable sources, such as bamboo. Construction waste is also being recycled.
According to McCarthy Project Director Robert Betz, the biggest challenge is the project’s location on a compact 200,000-square-foot site, right in the middle of the campus.
“Worker access and subcontractor deliveries are a major consideration of the project throughout the two-year build-out,” said Betz. “We’ve worked closely with the District to devise a plan that allows us to work within the site constraints without causing significant disruption to traffic and ongoing campus activities.”
The new Math and Science Building is being constructed with structural steel, concrete shear walls and an exterior curtain wall. The concrete work is scheduled to be complete in May, at which time glass and precast installation will begin along with construction of the building envelope.
The new instructional building is being funded by the $1.555 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program, which is providing for new teaching and learning facilities, major renovations and campus infrastructure projects at Mesa, City and Miramar colleges, and six continuing education campuses.
This is the third major project McCarthy has worked on at San Diego Mesa College on behalf of the San Diego Community College District. The company also built the new three-story, 50,000-square-foot Allied Health Building, which was completed in August of 2009 and awarded LEED Gold Certification by the USGBC. McCarthy also built the new the Miramar College parking structure and police substation, which was completed in August of 2011 and is expected to receive LEED Platinum Certification by the USGBC.
“The Math and Science Building is more technically complex than most construction projects; we awarded this project to McCarthy based on their extensive experience with laboratories and higher education construction projects,” said Umstot. “Based on their performance on the Allied Health Building and the Miramar College project, we feel we’re in good hands.”
Project team consultants for the new San Diego Mesa College Math and Science Building include Hope Engineering for structural engineering, and EXP for mechanical and electrical engineering. Gafcon is the program manager for the Propositions S and N construction program on behalf of the San Diego Community College District.
About San Diego Mesa College
Among the largest community colleges in California and the nation, San Diego Mesa College (sdmesa.edu) is a fully accredited two-year college offering 160 Associate degree and certificate programs. Recognized in 2007 as one of the top 100 producers of associate degrees in the nation, Mesa College ranks as San Diego’s top transfer institution. The college also serves as an important economic catalyst for the region. Its career programs and industry alliances offer graduates almost immediate job placement in the fields of allied health, biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, business technology, consumer studies, and more. Other top specialized career programs include fashion, architecture, multimedia, animal health technology, American Sign Language, interior design, and hospitality and event management.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (mccarthy.com) is one of the nation’s oldest and largest commercial builders. The firm has been building in the education market for the last 50 years. Committed to the construction of high performance buildings, the company has managed construction or built more than 300 K-12 school projects nationwide, totaling more than $2 billion in construction value, and nearly 100 higher education projects on more than 50 campuses. In addition to San Diego, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; Dallas; Houston; and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned.