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Mission College Readies for Construction of Main Building Replacement


Mission College is preparing for the upcoming construction of a building that will help replace the antiquated Main Building, which has seen only minor upgrades since it was built 30 years ago. When complete, the full Main Building replacement project will change the face of the college.

The first phase in replacing Main Building will be a three-story building between the science building and the gym. This new building will house a wide range of departments, from art to music to nursing to computer science. It will also feature 49 classrooms and labs, including specialized classrooms needed for certain fields of study, and a 172-seat lecture hall. Additionally, the building will be LEED-certified gold and include a below-ground geothermal system to provide heat.

The West Valley-Mission Community College District is reviewing construction bids and plans to break ground on the building late this year. The $41 million project, funded by Measure H, will be ready for students in about two years.

“This is the culmination of what our community members have asked for the last four or five years, which is to be able to have a new state-of-the-art building on the Mission College campus,” said Laurel Jones, Mission College president. “We’re excited about being able to finally put those community dollars to work.”

The 118,000-square-foot building is among the largest building programs for any two- or four-year university in northern California, said WVMCCD Chancellor John Hendrickson.

The ultimate plan is to build a second building similar in size and to then tear down Main Building. In its place in the heart of campus, the college’s master plan calls for an outdoor plaza, complete with amphitheater. Those changes will help give Mission College more of a traditional campus feel and atmosphere, said Javier Castruita, WVMCCD executive director of facilities.

WVMCCD Trustee Buck Polk, who describes Main Building as “dark, dank, dreary and depressing,” said the new building will be one of the most welcome additions ever on campus. He said it will also move the college forward with fully building out the campus, which has never been done. “This will go a long way for the community of Santa Clara to see that there is a vision and a completion, if you will, of the campus. This building will be the key to everything. The new campus will be complete when that old Main Building is gone,” he said.

WVMCCD Chancellor John Hendrickson echoed the importance of the Main Building phase one replacement.

“This new 3-story structure will put a new face on the best teaching environments, the best technology, the most utility efficient and environmentally sensitive college building project in our region,” Hendrickson said.

Additionally, the significance of replacing Main Building extends beyond the physical building, said Chad Walsh, president of the WVMCCD Board of Governors.

“The investments into Mission College will springboard our institution to the forefront of community colleges in California,” said Walsh. “With our new emphasis on technology and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and with the enormous partnership potential of our Silicon Valley high tech neighbors, Mission College is poised to be a leading educational force and employment engine for our region.”