New Fine Arts and Math CIS buildings receive mixed feelings from students


Perla Lara

From right to left undecided major Cynthia Vega, and child development major Maricela Vargas enjoying time in the new fine arts building lobby. The lobbies tables also has a electrical and usb outlets to charge portable devices. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara, Managing Editor

Students and staff returned to Cerritos College not only to start a new semester but to be the first to have classes inside the new Fine Arts and the Math Computer Information Science buildings. It’s been nearly two years since the March 2015 groundbreaking. The Spring 2017 semester is the first semester to have the buildings open for classes.

Students like child development major Crystal Velasquez are enjoying the new building.

She said, “I like it better, it looks much better […] it looks nice; everything they’re doing is good.”

Velasquez is taking photography and child development classes in the fine arts building and stated that her only difficulty was finding her classes on the first day.

Computer science major Xico Blanco’s classes are in the Math CIS building he was able to find his classes easily.

He describes the building as, “Pretty clean, and shiny. It’s really interesting to go into a newly-built building.”

However, Blanco states there is still construction taking place inside the Math CIS building. “Not all the stairs and elevators are completed so you have to get in and out of the building in a specific way. I like to go on campus before classes start so I can see all my classrooms, but I couldn’t see the classrooms in here because they were still being built.”

Another issue with the new building that Blanco has encountered is the bad internet connection and cellphone reception in the building. “Service gets pretty terrible in some parts of that building with both Wi-Fi and phone” Blanco said.

Arts and graphic design major Alejandra Solares has a ceramics class in the fine arts building she said, “There’s a lot of rooms to do the whole process of ceramics.”

She is enjoying the new color scheme of the new building and all the new technology within the building.

Comparing the new and old fine arts building Solares said, “The old one you can definitely tell it’s aged in the just the walls. In the new building I noticed they have cameras to record lectures and send them to you if you miss a class, in the old building obviously you can’t do that.”

Also enjoying the new building and the upgrade in room and technology is Fine Arts Division One Administrative clerk II Deborah Buffington.

Buffington has an important role in the transition between the two buildings for the fine arts division.

“I coordinated the move between builder and the faculty, so I’ve been a part of it from way before it even started. All the planning of dates and what we had to do. I met with the moving company the project manager” Buffington said.

Her challenge during the move was, “Impressing everybody to hurry and get it done they had more stuff than they thought they did. Everybody was great the mover provided plenty of boxes and materials. It was stressful because we had to quickly pack at finals, we division two, every department, ceramic, art whoever needed their stuff right up the last minute so it’s like the week of finals was the big crunch in getting everything packed. Everyone stepped up to the occasion.”

She continues to work toward making the building complete and finished to perfection, she said, “We’ve asked everybody to report to use here in the division all those little items, they call them punch list items, and if something is wrong in your area or if you notice something then it needs to be directed to one of us so we can send it to the project manager who then can allocate the work to whoever is responsible. We have the building contractors doing stuff, our IT doing stuff, and a few things our facility is doing. The big thing is the contractors working here in the building trying to get things finalized to make everything real smooth.”

The new fine arts building now has a larger division office that Buffington and other fine arts staff share.

She said, “I can thank the design people who initially started that our dean at the time Connie Mayfield, when we were designing the building what we had was just way too small so, this was her suggestion and we went with her, you know go with the flow and we have really nice space.

“Watching it go up and enjoying every minute. I’ve been in the building probably the last six months every week, so the progress is like a child that’s growing it’s just been wonderful.” expressed Buffington.