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College Of San Mateo Opens New Building Amid Budget Cuts

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The new College Center building. (College of San Mateo)

The new College Center building. (College of San Mateo)

SAN MATEO (KCBS) – A celebration was held Thursday afternoon to mark the completion of a new, four-story student services building at the College of San Mateo.

The 140,000-square-foot College Center will serve as a hub for student services, including admissions, career services, financial aid and disabled students programs, according to college President Michael Claire’s office.

The center also houses a learning resources center, labs for the Digital Media Program, classrooms, a bookstore, dining rooms, and faculty and administration offices.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The College Center aims to achieve LEED Silver certification, according to the president’s office.

The ribbon-cutting and open house ceremony was open to the public, with an estimated several hundred people showing up for the festivities.

“It’s gorgeous, it’s beautiful,” one woman in the crowd remarked.

“That building felt like it was dying so when you have to learn in that environment you feel like oh man, maybe the journalism program is like a dying field,” reasoned journalism student Jeffrey Gonzales, whose classes used to take place in a 50-year-old building. “But when you have a building like this you feel more driven to complete whatever it is that you’re doing.”

The new building is part of a $220 million College of San Mateo design and construction project funded by voter-approved bonds.

That funding was especially welcome on campus, where students have been warned about the California Community College System’s dire budget circumstances. Most recently, Chancellor Jack Scott suggested that the 112-campus system may be forced to enroll tens of thousands fewer students and cut thousands of classes because of the state budget impasse and funding shortages.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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