Moving day is just around the corner at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC)! The school’s newest building, Arroyo Hall, is nearly finished and several faculty and staff members are busy packing up their offices to move into their new digs.
“We desperately needed this new space,” said Dr. Heather Weber, Vice President of Administrative Services. “We simply outgrew our campus. When the project was approved by the Governing Board in November 2018, we had students on waitlists for classes because we didn’t have enough instructional space.”
Ground was broken on the new building last spring. The project has consistently moved ahead of schedule and is on track to open for the Spring 2021 semester.
The 37,000-square-foot hall, designed by DFDG Architecture and built by Okland Construction, is right in the middle of campus near Estrella Hall, the Southwest Skill Center (SWSC), Mariposa Hall, and the Performing Arts Center. It has 10 learning studios, four flex labs (Makerspace, Fab lab, Art, and Music), 13 faculty offices, and an adjunct faculty suite.
The new building will be home to the Mail Room & Copy Center, Development and Alumni Affairs, Human Resources, Business Services, Instructional Services, and Marketing and Communications. Most of the departments are moving from Komatke Hall Building A, affectionately referred to on campus as “Kom A,” which is being remodeled for Enrollment Services.
“Kom B already houses Admissions and Registration, Financial Aid, Advising, and Testing Services, but some of those employees were housed in Kom A because of space constraints,” Dr. Weber said. “So this repositioning makes perfect sense and will give students a one-stop-shop for services.”
Construction of Arroyo Hall was part of a $33 million expansion project that included much-needed renovation work in the Southwest Skill Center, the remodeling of Kom A, infrastructure improvements including a new parking lot and chilled water system at the central plant, and a new biology lab and support space in Montezuma Hall.
“We really needed the lab space, our labs are always booked,” Life Sciences Professor Dr. Jarod Raithel said shortly after the new lab opened about a year ago.
The new space has everything one might expect to find in a science lab — gas hookups, refrigerators, incubators — but it also has a designated area for undergraduate research, most of which is done by cellular and molecular students studying genetics.
“Before, our student researchers were kind of all over the place,” Dr. Raithel said. “So now we have a dedicated space for them.”
EMCC’s expansion could not come at a better time as the West Valley continuously outpaces the rest of the state in growth.
“This side of the Valley is booming with new businesses and housing developments,” EMCC President Dr. Rey Rivera said. “This is just one more example of how EMCC is investing in the future of the West Valley.”
Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is currently registering students for the Spring 2021 semester. EMCC offers courses in the following formats: Online on Your Time, Live Online, Hybrid: In Person and Online, and In Person. To begin your journey at EMCC, go to https://www.estrellamountain.edu/students/admissions.