Upcoming building on campus marks new construction, first in decades

by Wen W. Li, Staff Writer

As community members drive past the College of Alameda, they might have noticed a lot of construction. Even though the outside looks nearly complete, the campus’ new liberal arts building is slated to open summer 2020.

Center for Liberal Arts building. Photos by Wen Li

President of College of Alameda (CoA) Timothy Karas has revealed that the official name for the new building is Center for Liberal Arts, designed and built by Overaa Construction. The cost of the building is projected to be 42.1 million dollars, and the building is funded by Measure A Peralta Community College District Facilities Bond. The building’s design is a two-story wing and three-story wing joined by an atrium.

The Center for Liberal Arts is slated to replace half of the current C Building classrooms, half of the D Building classrooms, and some faculty offices in CoA. There will be 14 general classrooms and one computer classroom, as well as instructional suites for the art department and Apparel Design & Merchandising. The building will be used to relocate existing classes and will not be adding newer ones. The building will also include 20 full-time faculty offices, a part-time faculty center, and meeting rooms for faculty.

Renderings of the Center for Liberal Arts. Courtesy of the Overaa Construction website.

“The new liberal arts building will provide a unified identity and home for the various liberal arts departments within an innovative and flexible modern learning environment. The new building will be in a prominent public position and will be visible to the on-campus and off-campus community, including signature programs of Apparel Design & Merchandising (Fashion) and Art,” Karas said.

Karas said that one of the main purposes of the building is to support the liberal arts departments. The new building will provide space students may need for their classes and artwork projects.

The Center for Liberal Arts will also support the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, English, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and communication studies programs. The building will include a café, art gallery, and offices for two deans. There will be a large lobby area with seating and an art gallery.

Project director Mike Conrad explained that the building will use green energy that meets LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification for the classrooms.

According to the Overaa Construction website, the new facility has been designed to attain a minimum of LEED Silver certification with energy-efficient smart classrooms. According to the U.S. Green Building Council website, green energy is renewable energy to help to reduce the use of resources which is environmentally friendly by using fewer resources, reduce waste, negative environmental impacts, and decrease life cycle costs.

Renderings of the Center for Liberal Arts. Courtesy of the Overaa Construction website.

“CoA is committed to meeting the needs of our students and community through innovative, flexible, and high-quality programs, services, and facilities,” Karas said.

Karas said CoA has also begun the process of constructing new transportation and science buildings as well as modernizing and expanding the aviation facility.

“The new Center for Liberal Arts is the first new building at CoA in decades. It will not be the last,” Karas said.