Reedley College celebrated the start of a new project last week, with a ground-breaking ceremony for the schools new math and sciences building.
Artist renderings were on display, and several campus and district leaders were on hand to discuss the building.
The project is being funded by a $485 million bond that California voters approved to go towards state community colleges.
“That money is going to be wisely invested to help our students achieve their goals, and ultimately impact positively the economic development of the greater Fresno area,” said Reedley College president Jerry Buckley.
Administrators say the building is a major step for Reedley in STEM-based education.
Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2021.
Site work started just after New Year’s Day with the removal of three portable buildings so digging for infrastructure could begin, Reedley President Jerry Buckley said.
It’s the latest State Center Community College District project funded with Measure C, a $485 million bond measure approved by State Center voters in June 2016.
The 21,000-sq.-ft. building on the west side of the campus near the athletic fields will house the new math tutoring center, a nursing lab and classroom, a large group instruction classroom, two chemistry labs, the dental assisting program, 20 faculty offices, and the dean’s suite.
The math center opened in 2009 as part of Reedley’s first STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) grant, she said.
Reedley College, which was founded in 1926 and is the second-oldest college in the State Center District, serves more than 11,000 students yearly.
Most of the college’s buildings were built between 1959 and 1968. “This is the first significant instructional space that we’ve added in a very, very long time,” Buckley said.
More buildings are in the works – new bays for the heavy truck program, a child development centre and a performing arts center — the first for the nearly 100-year-old campus.
Buckley said he expects construction to begin in 2021 or 2022. The college is still planning funding and working on the plans with the state architect’s office.
Buckley says the center will represent the orchards surrounding the campus and the primary shape of the building will represent “a blossom from a peach tree.”