By Monique Valadez
WALNUT– Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut formally broke ground on its new business and computer complex Oct. 22.
Designed to fulfill the academic needs of the school’s business and computer technology programs and other programs well into the 21st century, the 87,000-square-foot complex will comprise three buildings including new technology-based classrooms, lab-based learning environments and a student-run restaurant.
“This is going to be a state-of-the-art complex that will consolidate our business and computer programs in one central area,” said Mt. SAC Business Dean Jennifer Galbraith.
The new complex, located south of the tennis courts and west of the Language Center, building 66, will bring much-needed space for a wide range of programs including paralegal studies, accounting, computer information systems, office technology, culinary arts, hospitality management and interior design.
The three-building complex will also feature the Language Learning Center and computer security lab.
In addition, a lobby will be added to the west side of building 66 to connect this building to the rest of the campus through a new pedestrian path.
The new complex is expected to cost $46 million by completion in the spring of 2018, college officials said. Construction begins in December. Half of the project is funded through Measure RR, Mt. SAC’s $353-million facilities bond approved by voters in 2008.
Measure R and Measure RR has brought an influx in construction to the campus. A $16.6 million Student Success Center opens in 2016 and $14.7 million food service center opens in December.
Several complaints have been arriving on the Walnut city council’s desks regarding the campus’ growth. Residents along with city officials filed a lawsuit on construction of a $48 million five-level parking garage earlier this year.
A $3.8 million solar-power project was recently approved by the college’s board members but some locals say the “solar farm” project would cause traffic congestion and would be an eyesore. College officials say that the project could save the campus nearly half a million dollars in energy costs annually.