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November 14, 2018
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Physics & Earth Science Building

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for New Physics & Earth Sciences Building at East Los Angeles College

On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held for East Los Angeles College’s (ELAC) new Physics & Earth Sciences building. The ceremony was the culmination of a two-year, $17 million construction project that began in October 2016 and was completed in Sumer 2018. More than a hundred college faculty, staff and students were joined with officials from the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and many others for the hour-long celebration in front of the new building.

Dr. Julienne Bernard, ELAC Department Chair of Anthropology, Geography & Geology, was the Master of Ceremonies who introduced each of the speakers.

LACCD Board of Trustees President Mike Fong, LACCD Board of Trustees Member Mr. Scott Svonkin, LACCD Chancellor Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, ELAC President Marvin Martinez, Mr. Viken Kiledjian, Chair of the ELAC Physics Department, and ELAC student speaker, Colleen Mieko Tamashiro all gave remarks praising the new facility.

“Being able to provide our students with such great facilities like this new building also demonstrates our ongoing commitment that the needs of our students remain a top priority,” said LACCD Board of Trustees President Mike Fong.

“With all of the choices young people have today for pursing their higher educations, it is important that we have facilities like this that keep us on the cutting edge,” said LACCD Chancellor Dr. Francisco Rodriguez.

“As the largest college within the Los Angeles Community College District, it is understandable that our campus continues to grow every year with more new buildings,” said ELAC President Marvin Martinez. “If you will recall, this new Physics and Earth Sciences building itself replaces 2 buildings that were constructed in the 1950/60s that were in place just adjacent to this building.”

The Keynote Speaker was Aradhna Tripati, an Associate Professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences; UCLA’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Director and Founder of the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, and also the International Research Chair in Stable Isotopes. Professor Tripati encouraged the students in the audience to look ahead to transferring to four-year universities to complete their upper graduate level courses in the STEM field in order to meet the needs of the current job market, which is projected to grow enormously in STEM fields in the coming years.

Below is a photo of the official ribbon cutting for the Physics & Earth Sciences building.

Group people cutting ribbon at Physics & Earth Science Building

Standing left to right, are:

  1. Mr. Marvin Martinez, ELAC President
  2. Mr. Viken Kiledjian, Chair of the ELAC Physics Department
  3. Dr. Julienne Bernard, ELAC Department Chair of Anthropology, Geography & Geology
  4. Mr. Scott Svonkin, LACCD Board of Trustees Member
  5. Mr. Mike Fong, LACCD Board of Trustees President
  6. Ms. Aradhna Tripati, Associate Professor at UCLA
  7. Dr. Francisco C. Rodriguez, LACCD Chancellor
  8. Ms. Nancy Pearlman, Former LACCD Trustee and current ELAC Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
  9. Colleen Mieko Tamashiro, ELAC student speaker and Anthropology major

The Harper Construction Company was the General Contractor for this 26,000 square-foot, two-story, G8 Physics and Earth Sciences building. Jacobs was the Program Management team and the architect was Sillman Wright Architects. The project had a $17 million budget, funded by Measure J funds.

ELAC is one of the nine colleges of the LACCD, the largest community college district in the nation. More information about the LACCD is online at