Contra Costa College New College Center | General Education Building

Client: Contra Costa Community College District
Services Provided: Master Planning, Programming, Design, Construction Documents, Construction Administration
Project Location: San Pablo, CA
Project Size: 108,379 sf 
   General Education Building: 51,212 sf 
   Student and Administration Building (including the Fireside Hall Building): 57,167 sf
Completion Date: September 2016
Sustainability: Savings By Design
Program: General Education Building: 11 Classrooms, 4 Computer Labs, 200-seat Tiered Lecture Hall, Division Office, Faculty Offices; Student and Administration Building:  Student Life, Culinary Arts, Food Services, Bookstore, Administration, Business Services, Research and Planning, Marketing, Economic Development and Grants, Faculty Senate, Career Tech Education, Middle College programs, Central Quad; Fireside Hall: Large Flexible Meeting Room

The New College Center at Contra Costa College is a project enacted to re-vision the central core and heart of the aging campus. Three new buildings have been arranged to define three special outdoor spaces; an outdoor eating area; an amphitheater; and a park-like quad area for social activities. The three new surrounding buildings are the 3 level General Education Classroom Building, the Student and Administration Building and the Fireside Hall/Community Building. The Classroom Building is a three level building containing classrooms, faculty offices and a 200-seat lecture facility.  The Classroom Building is supplemented with varied sized spaces for students to congregate between classes and reflect on views of the upper San Francisco Bay. The Administration/Student Activities Building brings together the existing Administrative Programs, Middle College and the Student Activity Programs of Student Life, Culinary Arts, Food Services, and the Bookstore. The Fireside Building is a large flexible lodge-like meeting room for College and Community use.

The design of the project’s learning environments can be characterized as consisting of formal and informal learning spaces. Formal spaces: All classrooms are outfitted with moveable furniture to accommodate different learning and teaching styles and are technology rich. A lecture hall with sloped seating can accommodate 200 students. Informal spaces: Collaborative teaching and learning spaces were accomplished by providing varied sized informal spaces in and outside the building. To encourage students to ask questions and facilitate collaborative work, there are open conferencing areas directly outside the faculty office area. Additionally, spaces for learning were carved out of classroom corridors. Outdoor spaces were planned to provide different sized opportunities for students to gather, from small contemplative/passive seating areas along Rheem Creek to a terraced grass and concrete amphitheater.

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