Imperial Valley Press

SDSU-IV updates the community on Brawley STEM building


CALEXICO — San Diego State University Imperial Valley (SDSU-IV) held a community listening session and presented project updates in partnershi­p with Sundt Constructi­on Company and AC Martin on the Brawley Science Technology Engineerin­g and Math (STEM) Building on Tuesday, February 28.

The panel of speakers included SDSU-IV Dean Guillermin­a Núñez-Mchiri, Associate Vice President for SDSU real estate, planning and developmen­t Robert Schulz, SDSU Vice Provost William Tong, Sundt Preconstru­ction Project Manager Christophe­r Sullivan, Sundt Project Executive Michael Casey, AC Martin Principal Jerrold Fox, and Managing Principal at AC Martin Susan O’Connell.

“When I became president five years ago, one of my goals was willing to see the Imperial Valley campus flourish,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said. “I saw many opportunit­ies here but little did I know that the opportunit­y would begin to flourish with the expansion of Lithium Valley.”

Per the SDSU website as reported on July 1, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed state budget documents for 2022-23, providing $80 million in state funding for a STEM facility on SDSU-IV Brawley campus.

“Buoyed in the legislativ­e process by strong local support and a prospect of public-private partnershi­ps, the funding provides for the constructi­on of a 65,000 squarefoot facility at Brawley to house science, technology, chemistry, engineerin­g and mathematic­s programmin­g,” reads the site.

Sundt Constructi­on was selected to construct the STEM facility at the SDSU-IV Brawley campus, per a press release by the company dated December 14, 2022.

“We are moving with this developmen­t and a real fundamenta­l goal,” de la Torre said.

“Now we look at this opportunit­y to becoming the hub for lithium, as well as other important minerals that we can become also the hub for sustainabl­e energy for decades to come,” de la Torre said.

The institutio­n invited the community to learn about the current stages of the project and to engage with questions at SDSU-IV Rodney Auditorium.

“Our goal is to grow our talent locally; we want to help educate the future engineers, chemists, nurses, and continue to invest in the future educators, and law enforcemen­t officers, and leaders for this region that invites us to dream, and to dream big,” Núñez-Mchiri said.

“What you’ll see today, is what we’ve been working on together with this amazing team of developers, architects, and visionarie­s, who work every day on the mechanics of how we are going to make this train possible,” she said.

Núñez-Mchiri said the project mission and goals included creating a STEM Innovation Hub – a flexible environmen­t that encourages collaborat­ion, designing flexibilit­y to support future programs –, provide a student-centered building, and design a building that represents the community and local environmen­t.

Schulz presented the schedule of the project, stating that as of February 28, the building is in the design and permitting phases.

According to the schedule, the design and permitting phases will run until July 2024. The constructi­on phase is expected to start on January 2024 and conclude on August 2025.

“We will be occupying this building in the Fall of 2025,” Schulz said.

O’Connell said the areas to be included in the STEM building will be teaching and research laboratori­es, faculty offices, and a student collaborat­ion space.

In terms of sustainabi­lity goals, the presentati­on showed it would have a Leed Gold Certificat­ion, the building orientatio­n will respond to solar exposure and winds, create wind and sun-sheltered outdoor spaces, select durable materials to withstand the climate, reduce energy consumptio­n, shading elements to reduce heat gain and solar exposure, include photovolta­ic panels, utilize native and drought-tolerant landscape to capture rainwater onsite in bioretenti­on swells to recharge aquafers.

A question and answer session was followed by guests attending the event and concluded with a performanc­e by students from the SDSU College of Profession­al Studies and Fine Arts.

 ?? CORPUS PHOTO ELIZABETH MAYORAL ?? SDSU-IV Dean Guillermin­a Núñez-Mchiri (center) answers questions from the audience during the Brawley STEM building community update on Tuesday, February 28, at Rodney Auditorium at SDSU-IV in Calexico.
CORPUS PHOTO ELIZABETH MAYORAL SDSU-IV Dean Guillermin­a Núñez-Mchiri (center) answers questions from the audience during the Brawley STEM building community update on Tuesday, February 28, at Rodney Auditorium at SDSU-IV in Calexico.

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