The J. Walter Smith Student Center and Sierra Madre buildings were both completed during the Winter break.
Campus police have moved out of their temporary trailers and into a new office on the first floor of the Sierra Madre building.
“We have a lot more storage space, and we’ve become much more organized,” said Police Specialist Nidal Kobaissi. “We are also a lot more visible so it’s more convenient for students to find us.”
The SM building is also the new home to a wide variety of food services.
The Subway and Casa Ortega franchises have returned and are located on the first floor of the SM building. Both were operational in time for the beginning of the Spring semester.
A new oriental fast-food restaurant, Pacific Rim, will be located next to the Subway and is expected to open at the end of February or early March.
The new snack shop, CJ’s Soda and Snacks, is named after Candice J. Walker, manager of cafeteria and food services. A dedication ceremony took place on Jan. 9 where Walker, who has served on the cafeteria staff since 1968, was presented with a plaque for her 33 years of service to the college.
“I’m honored and thrilled,” said Walker when surprised by the plaque and presentation.
The entire food court area is located indoors and decorated with a 1950’s diner motif.
On the second floor of the SM building, the new cafeteria is open and ready for service. The main benefit of the new cafeteria is the speed of service.
“It’s wonderful and beautiful of course,” said Erendida Zavala, a cafeteria worker who worked on campus for the past 15 years. “Some of the old-timers feel sorry when the good stuff — the stainless steel stuff — is gone, but we just have to adjust and move on.”
“It’s just different,” said Walker. “We have to get used to a different way of doing things, but we keep getting faster and faster.”
Landscaping of Plaza Vaquero, the central park area in front of the Sierra Madre building, was completed on Jan. 22.
Netting called “ground saver” or “slope saver” has been placed over a portion of the plaza in order to minimize erosion and protect the small, growing shrubbery.
The rest of Plaza Vaquero has been sprayed with Hydroseed — a mixture of seed, fiber, fertilizer, and wood fiber mulch that has been dyed green to temporarily look like grass until it grows.
“It’s not painted dirt,” said Bill Taylor, director of business services and head of the construction project.
Depending on the weather, the grass should be fully-grown and healthy enough be to walked upon within the next eight to 16 weeks.