The new 60,000 square foot physical science building at Mesa Community College held its grand opening Monday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m.The facility includes student tutoring and study areas, faculty and department offices, new lecture and laboratory spaces, designed to promote collaboration among students, faculty and staff, and its own 48-seat planetarium.
The building also has a solar-energy package donated by the Salt River Project to operate the planetarium.
The construction of this major new facility is supported by funds made available by the MCCD Capital Bond Program that voters approved in November of 2004.
The planetarium is the first of its kind in the city of Mesa.
Aaron Martinez, 26, is a new student to MCC looking to pursue a major in engineering.
“This campus in general is pretty impressive for being a community college, but I have to say the fact that there’s a brand new science building and it has a planetarium makes it all the more impressive,” said Martinez.
“It’s great to get some hands-on experience; the technology and tools in the building make it easy for improvement.”
Mike Sims, MCC physical science department chair, said this is just what the building was designed for.
“In the building design, we tried to maximize the opportunity for students to learn in formal, informal and impromptu settings,” said Sims.
“We also tried to make the instructional technology seamless from both student and faculty perspectives.”
Julia Marcy, 19, is a student at MCC looking to pursue a major in Astronomy.
“The building is awesome, and not only because it has the new planetarium and everything’s updated and new and shiny,” said Marcy.
“I think it’s just so convenient; before everything was in this one building I felt like my classes were all over campus and I was just spending all day running around.