It wasn’t your typical ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning at the Pacific Coast Campus of Long Beach City College (LBCC), when the site’s officials, staff and students celebrated the grand opening of a new building and the completed renovation of another.
The one who had the honor of actually cutting the ribbon was a robot designed by the LBCC’s Electrical Technology Program.
It was an appropriate choice, considering the two buildings will house that program, which is moving to the Pacific Coast Campus (PCC) from the college’s Liberal Arts Campus. The PCC offers courses in welding, design, metal fabrication and computer numerical control, and the program’s relocation is part of the college’s revamping of its Advanced Manufacturing Program. LBCC will now be the only community college in the region to offer this amount of such courses on one campus, according to college officials, many of whom were present at the Oct. 4 ceremony.
Ann-Marie Gabel, LBCC vice president of Administrative Services, was among those who celebrated the new achievements that day.
“We have accomplished our goal in creating a wonderful, very high-tech, very cutting-edge program and facility for our students,” Gabel said during the event. “So, I am so proud that we’ve done that, and I’m happy that our faculty members are happy with the program.”
Also at the ceremony was Jeff Kellogg, president of the LBCC Board of Trustees, who opened his remarks by thanking residents for supporting the college through their votes.
“I’d like to thank our district voters and the taxpayers for their strong and continued support of their Long Beach City College,” Kellogg said. “Thanks to their support, we’ve been able to make significant progress toward modernizing the college.”
The two buildings, QQ and RR, are being paid for with funds from the Measure E Bond that voters passed in 2008 and that grants $440 million for new construction, renovation and repairs at both campuses, according to LBCC officials. The $20.3-million construction project will provide students and faculty with state-of-the-art labs and technology, as well as environmentally friendly features to conserve energy and water, plus two new electric-car charging stations.
Additionally, the two-story, 24,454-square-foot Building QQ will share space with the LBCC’s Lifetime Learning Center, which offers classes through the Senior Studies for Lifetime Learning Program.
Dr. Reagan F. Romali, LBCC superintendent-president, also thanked voters and said the college has been able to modernize its Electrical Technology facilities “to provide a more robust education and training program for this high-demand industry.”
“In addition, the new Lifetime Learning Center will allow us to expand and provide high-quality programs to more seniors in our community,” Romali said.
Jeff Bacurin, the architect who designed Building QQ, was at Wednesday’s event, and, in an interview with the Signal Tribune inside the learning center, pointed out some of the new features.
“It’s designed for flexibility so they can rearrange the furniture for any kind of configurations or events they might have,” Bacurin said. “[There’s] a little kitchenette out there. We’ve got the patio for them to do any kind of outdoors activities they might want to do… It’s very exciting to see it in person and built now. So, I hope everybody enjoys it.”
The new buildings will include seven electrical classrooms, for Transformer Motor, Cisco/Networking, Active Learning (AutoCAD), 2 Active Learning (Tab Arm), Labvolt and Motor Control.
There will also be specialized labs for Motor Control and PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) Lab, Cisco Networking and Building Automation Lab, Building Lighting and Automation Lab, Robotics Lab. LBCC will also be one of first community colleges in California with a dedicated Building Lighting and Automation Lab, which was built with the state’s highest levels of energy efficiency standards, according to officials.
Additionally, the facilities will include an outdoor work yard for solar panels, a nearly full-sized traffic-signal intersection work station for traffic-signal technicians and a full automation wing that will include Robotics, Electro-hydraulics and Pneumatics.