Liberal Arts, DSPS building a piece of ‘Facilities Master Plan’ puzzle

The+Liberal+Arts+and+Disabled+Student+Services+building%2C+completed+last+June%2C+was+officially+opened+with+a+ribbon-cutting+ceremony+last+July.+The+building+is+one+of+many+pieces+to+the+Facilities-Master-Plan+puzzle.+It+was+paid+for+by+the+General+Obligation+measure%2C+which+contributed+roughly+%24350+million+in+renovating+the+entire+Cerritos+College+campus.+With+the+structure+now+completed%2C+it%E2%80%99s+now+available+and+operational+for+students%2C+with+classes+now+available+for+this+Fall+semester.+

Denny Cristales

The Liberal Arts and Disabled Student Services building, completed last June, was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last July. The building is one of many pieces to the Facilities-Master-Plan puzzle. It was paid for by the General Obligation measure, which contributed roughly $350 million in renovating the entire Cerritos College campus. With the structure now completed, it’s now available and operational for students, with classes now available for this Fall semester.

The all too familiar scene of construction, serving as Cerritos College’s mask at the corner of Alondra Boulevard, was but a memory when students bore witness to what was now towering over them.

A glimpse of the future is what now stood.

A roughly one-and-a-half year construction process culminated last June when the new Liberal Arts and Disabled Students Services building was completed.

At 40,000 square feet, the structure is just a piece of the Facilities-Master-Plan puzzle.

The Facilities Master Plan, established in 2011, seeks “improvement of campus buildings and aging infrastructure … fulfilling its commitment to provide high-quality, academically-rigorous instruction,” according to the Cerritos College Facilities Master Plan website.

The building was paid by the General Obligation measure, which was approved in November of 2012, with the bond contributing $350 million in renovating the Cerritos College campus.

Liberal Arts

Relocated to the northwest portion of campus, the Liberal Arts discipline leaves behind the outdated, brick structure for a new, modern look.

Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido said about the structure at the ribbon cutting last July, “I think it’s a wonderful addition to Cerritos College and also to the community.”

He continued, “The common thread that I got here is that there is a tremendous love for Cerritos College, for the community, for promoting learning and development for our students.”

The building, as sleek and modern it is touted to be on the outside, is just the same on the inside – academically.

The building houses new equipment that changes the way teachers teach and students learn.

A complete computer lab and “smart” classrooms provide that dynamic change. Items, such as printers or projectors, are much more easily handled and will be the resources available for all future buildings.

Trustee Shin Liu said, “It’s very modern and brings new technology, this kind of modern style is good for the learning environment.”

In addition to new technological resources for learning are the progressive steps taken to being more environmentally friendly as a campus. Solar panels conserve energy, among other features.

The old Liberal Arts building is now known as the Multipurpose building, which serves as a resource facility where extra offices can be placed, in addition to having extra technological equipment placed while the new Technology building is being constructed.

DSPS

The relocation of the Disabled Student Services facility from the local it had by the Student Center to the new building, playing sister to the Liberal Arts facility, provides the DSPS facility prominent visibility than before, in addition to easier access.

The DSPS portion of the building is on the first floor of the building. Upon entry, new offices and chairs are prevalent.

The merging of the Liberal Arts and the DSPS departments make sense – geographically, as the DSPS facility is now at the entrance of the campus, echoing and fulfilling the easier access as was mentioned before.

“Before, if we wanted to get help from someone, we’d have to go across campus to get in contact,” Irving Rivas Bartikofsky, disability specialist, mentioned in reference to the old DSPS layout, which had two separate facilities.

Judi Holmes, also a disability specialist, said that the close-knit layout of this new structure makes it easier for everybody to cooperate and get work done.

Not only co-workers, but students.

“Now if I need to refer a student somewhere,  I don’t need to say, ‘Hey, go over here.’ I can take them myself.”

DSPS now has additional resources available, with new programs like Jaws, speech-to-text programs and Premiere.

Premiere is a program Holmes and Bartikofsky were adamant about, as it is available to every student on campus with access to a computer.

The additional resources will forever change the way teaching and learning is done.