Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, California celebrated the groundbreaking of their new Student Services Building with a special socially distanced ceremony. The new 36,000 SF building will be the home to the school’s student service programs.

Cuyamaca College’s mission is to connect the local community with educational opportunities. Yet, the campus lacked a clear, distinct entry point into the heart of campus. Our design team set out to redefine the building as the college’s new welcoming point. In addition to the new three-story building, the project also completed the renovation of adjacent spaces in the adjacent Student Center and redesigning the college’s central green space. A campus gateway lets visitors experience a “threshold” moment and promotes outreach and provides a clear, efficient, and welcoming access point to the services available for students. We embraced and enhanced existing buildings and landscaping, seamlessly and cohesively connecting the project to the campus. To preserve the existing green spaces on campus, we created ADA accessible pathways and rooftop gardens on top of the new buildings. Energy use will be drastically reduced with sustainable design strategies such as daylighting and solar control, along with implementing chilled beams to create a more efficient mechanical design. Construction will be complete in Summer 2022.

The groundbreaking ceremony was streamed live and a recording can be found at Cuyamaca College’s YouTube channel.