Cicely Chisholm / Courier
Students can find science classes in the Science Village outside of Robinson Stadium and Parking Lot 5 on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Due to the unsafe seismic condition of the U Building, the entire Natural Sciences Division has been relocated to Parking Lot 5A, which has been refitted with 36 newly built units including classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices, and has been renamed the “Science Village”

According to reports prepared by the Facilities Services Department, the temporary new facilities are a result of the U Building Abandonment and Relocations Projects, an $8.5 million project being headed by facilities services in order relocate all divisions housed in the U Building until it can demolished and replaced with a structure that is seismically safe and up to code. The Natural Sciences Division was selected to be moved to the 44,000 square-foot area previously known as Parking Lot 5A. Located at corner of Bonnie Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard, the lot is now home to 36 newly constructed, air-conditioned, modular buildings.

According to the Dean of Natural Sciences David Douglass, the newly constructed Science Village will be a temporary home to two-thirds of the natural sciences classes until the U Building can be replaced. Geology and physics classes will remain in the E Building.

Even thought the new location is temporary, Douglass is enthusiastic about the division’s new location. “The facilities here are much more updated, the hoods are updated and the gas lines are custom to the way we teach,” Douglass said. “I think students and staff will be happy with the new facilities and the labs. They’re not so pretty on the outside, but they’re really functional and well designed on the inside.”

Teachers such as assistant instructor Valerie Foster and Joe Conner, a biology teacher, are finding the new location as a pleasant change.

Cicely Chisholm / Courier
The Science Village, previously known as Parking Lot 5A, is now the home for the Natural Sciences Division

“Chemistry teachers were on the third floor and biology teachers were on the fourth floor,” Foster said. “Now we are all in the same room, and we can potentially collaborate and figure out what’s going on in each others’ worlds a little better. Ultimately that will help our students.”

“I see the change as potentially much better,” said Conner. “It still has bugs to work out in the electronics, but once all the glitches are worked out it will be good for the students. For the faculty, a change in atmosphere is always good for the creative juices.”

Students waiting outside the Science Village for their classes to start noted that the new location has some problems. Most of them agreed that there are not enough shaded areas to escape the heat while they wait for class, the air-conditioning in some of the buildings is not working, and some of the new buildings are having problems with ants.


All agreed, however, that they feel safer being at a new location. “Everything is a lot cleaner and there’s a lot more space” said Jenny Le-Nghiem, a chemistry 1A student. “There is an ant problem, but that can be fixed with time. The earthquake hazards in the U Building are a lot more dangerous than ants.”

One Reply to “Science Village provides a new home for the natural sciences”

  1. As a tenured member (15+ years at PCC) of the Natural Sciences that will be living in Science Village for an unknown number of years, I’d like to share the highs and lows of our new location. First, a huge “THANK YOU” to the staff and contractors who have made our semester possible. Over summer, with temperatures above 100 degrees and no power/air conditioning, one of the Biology techs was packing, moving and unpacking all of the models I need to teach Anatomy. The biggest complaint I have given our current economy is the wasteful abandonment of equipment, furniture and supplies in the U building. New chairs are great, but why aren’t we being more green? Finally, on the topic of being green…as the Dean implied, the Village looks a bit bleak or severe being currently decorated in 50 shades of gray and beige! Considering how colorful our science faculty is, I think the environment should match. Therefore, I will be submitting a proposal for Student Service funding to liven up the place. I envision student produced paintings on the bare sides of trailers, representing different ecosystems complete with appropriate flora and fauna! The Huntington Gardens has agreed to provide plants, I’d love art students to work with students in botany and zoology to produce accurate 3-d dioramas, and then have English classes findbtheboerfect poetry/quotes to go with scenes. Anyone interested in participating can e-mail me, drop by my office SV 9G, or call (626) 585-7675.

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