Santiago Canyon College had a soft opening of its Humanities Building on April 23. All faculty offices and classroom will be fully occupied during summer 2014. The new instructional facility cost $32.7 million to complete. This up-to-date structure was made possible through the Measure E, a $337 million general obligation bond approved by voters in 2002 to renovate existing campus buildings and construct new classrooms facilities throughout the college district.
The three-story building houses the college’s English, Humanities, Modern Languages, Social Science departments, as well as the Writing Center, Model United Nations and Honors Program. The building includes 37 classrooms, multiple laboratories, a 290-seat auditorium, and has several unique features. Since some SCC instructors occasionally like to teach outside, one of its courtyards features two open-air classrooms, meandering Zen-like pathways, and reflective spaces. Faculty offices are distributed throughout the facility in pods of three or four offices with a waiting area for students at the pod’s hub.
Designed by California-based architecture firm, LPA, Inc., the facility has been planned with energy efficiency in mind. Its sustainable design has earned the building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Energy efficient elements include water-efficient landscaping and plumbing fixtures, highly efficient HVAC units, and daylighting. In addition, photovoltaic panels will cover a good portion of the building’s roof and provide 19 percent of the energy needed for day-to-day operations.