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.