It’s been nearly four years in the making now, but MCC’s new 62,000-square-foot physical science building is finally ready to open it’s doors this fall.”We have moved everything out of our old building and we are already in the new one. Classes are scheduled for the first day of fall semester,” said Mike Sims, head of MCC’s physical science department.
The $20 million facility is a result of $951 million worth of bonds being approved by the Maricopa County College system in November of 2004.
It will be the new home of the astronomy, chemistry, engineering, geology, physics, and physical science departments.
One of the main features of the new building is it’s planetarium, the first in the city of Mesa.
The planetarium, which will be able to hold up to 48 students, will offer a large projection system using immersive style video, similar to those that are offered at IMAX theaters, and it will also have a state of the art surround sound.
Besides the planetarium, the building will have many different features that will benefit both students and teachers.
Students will have access to wireless Internet service both inside and outside of the courtyard, next to the planetarium.
There will also be many plasma-screen whiteboards that can be used as learning and teaching tools throughout the entire building.
For astronomy classes, there is a viewing platform at the top of the building that can be used for labs.
“Some of the student workers that have been involved have been really impressed by the facility so far,” Sims said.
“What we tried to do was build a building that made the interactions with the students and faculty as smooth as possible and which reached a variety of needs.”
The physical science building will also be the first LEED-certified building out of the all the Maricopa County Colleges.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is given to a building project that is environmentally responsible, profitable, and a healthy place to work at.
During the construction phase, most of the carpet and the steel from the building was recycled.
Another reason for the building being LEED-certified is that it will be solar powered, one of the few buildings at MCC that will have that feature.