With a scissors snip Oct. 1, Pierce College President Patrick Schmitt officially added a little more drama on campus.
In addition to drama courses, the new Arts and Allied Health building also will be the home of the nursing and arts departments.
Organizers of the grand opening celebration described the newest building on campus and the departments housed inside.
“The beauty of design reflects the beauty of both the art and the allied health that will be going on in this building,” Schmitt said at the opening.
Students, college employees and community members assembled to watch the ribbon cutting and hear about the amenities offered by the 61,000-sq.-foot building.
Plans, designs and construction of this latest addition to the campus have taken about 10 years. However, most administrators say the final result was well worth the wait.
Major highlights are a black box theater that seats 296 people, a small amphitheater and a mock doctor’s office complete with exam room, hospital and simulated patients.
But that isn’t all this building has to offer. For those interested in the arts there are seven soundproof practice rooms for music students, a recording studio, a keyboardist room and two art studios filled with natural light.
And for those who are in need of a computer or a quiet workspace, a new computer lab will have 17 computers and three student workrooms are available for small study groups.
“I really like what they’ve done with the new study rooms,” said student Jim Tryon. “They’re great.”
Thought and purpose have gone into every aspect of this new building. Even the wall color, which indicates what section of the building someone is in, has been considered.
Designers made to make this building more than just a place of learning. It’s a visually appealing masterpiece as well. Intricate design, intriguing architecture and artwork can be found throughout the building. The most noteworthy piece is a light reflecting prism in the entrance hall.
“The Arts and Allied Health building is in one word; incredible,” said Karen Scott, chair of business and social science division.
Besides being student friendly, the Arts and Allied Health building is eco-friendly as well. The building is considered green and is registered for the highest certification, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold.
Some of the green features include a rooftop garden and pre-existing plants from the site that were dug up before construction began and then re-planted and incorporated into the landscaping.
Energy is saved by motion sensor lights in classrooms and thermostat controlled windows which open and close to adjust the inside temperature.
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