The newly renovated $5.3 million Butte College Campus Center, complete with student lounge, conference center, expanded bookstore, and new Associated Students offices, held its grand opening celebration.
The highlight of the festivities was a formal ribbon cutting ceremony with participants including Butte College President, Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg; Board of Trustees, Lou Cecchi, Fred Perez, Mike Boeger, Tom McLaughlin and Bill McGinnis; and Measure A Oversight Committee members, Bud Tracy, Gil Huston and Bob Pervis.
Vice President of Planning, Les Jauron, introduced speakers, including Van Der Ploeg, who told the audience the Campus Center was the final major project to be funded with Measure A Bond money, which yielded the district $84.9 million in 2002.
“I really want to thank the voters,” said Van Der Ploeg. “Like most of the Measure A projects, this one came in on time and below budget.” She also noted that the energy efficient building received a number of PG&E rebates as well as an Energy Commission loan.
Van Der Ploeg said the renovation included second floor construction which provides an expanded dining area, new lighting, a new marquee, and a quiet dining area for faculty and staff. “It’s really been fun to watch the center take shape.” She offered a special thanks to the architects, contractors, Board of Trustees and the Oversight Committee. “Without their support we wouldn’t have the campus looking the way it does.”
Associated Students President, Eric Chisler, said the new Campus Center, which has a new office suite for the Associated Students and International Club Council, will not only be appreciated by students individually, but more than that, it will grow a sense of campus community as well.
Jack Lemley, Director of Auxiliary Services and Special Projects, gave kudos as well to the book store staff who will now be working in an area twice the size of the original store. He said the store’s programs and services have been expanded as well. “Most important there are more options and selections for our students.”
Vice President for Administration Andrew Suleski said his long list of people to thank included everyone from the architects to President Van Der Ploeg. He gave a special note of appreciation to the United Building Contractors of Chico, for using all local contractors.
In addition to the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Associated Students celebrated the grand opening with giveaways, music, refreshments and food as well as trivia and dance contests held in the new lounge.
Second year student Gabriela Reinaga said she was very much impressed. “It’s so much larger, there’s more space to move around, and lots more people to help if you have a question.”
Sina Stephens who has been coming to the campus for three years said she is most impressed with the new study area. “I love it because now we have a place for studying and doing homework,” she said. “We didn’t have that before.”
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Van Der Ploeg said the Campus Center is a special endeavor for her. “This was all done for the students; to give them a place of their own. It tells them they are valued,” she said. “It’s nice to give them a home.”