A Campus Makeover
From Colorado Boulevard, the iconic mirror pools of Pasadena City College serve as a landmark for the city. The campus is home to the Westerbeck Recital Hall, the Center for the Arts, the Boone Family Art Gallery and the Boone Sculpture Garden, among other notable venues and spaces. Students gather in the Quad and on the steps overlooking the mirror pools to connect with each other in between classes, exchange ideas and interests, and relax. Members of the community find inspiration and motivation in the college’s theaters and auditoriums, its gymnasiums and art galleries.
In all these ways, PCC is as much a cultural hub and emotional hub for the community.
But with high volume, aging use, and growth of the student population, the college must regularly assess the state and the needs of its facilities.
“Every community college has educational master plans, technical master plans, and facilities master plans,” explained Mike Bush, Assistant Superintendent Vice-President of Business and Administrative Services. “PCC went through an educational master plan process recently, and now I’ve been put in charge of the facilities master plan.”
What this entails, says Mike, is hiring an architectural firm in order to evaluate the conditions of the college’s current facilities and discuss possible changes, improvements, or additions to the campus.
“We began by engaging with the architectural firm HGA,” Mike said. “Dr. Erika Endrijonas and I reviewed the work they were doing, and we felt good about it. The scope of the master plan was to do a campus-wide assessment of the current state of our facilities and how we’re using the spaces now.”
The assessment looked at data—developing its guiding principles through town hall meetings, executive captains, focus groups, and student government—and made recommendations for the future state of the college based on structural, cultural, and educational needs.
What rose to the surface was a clear interest in clarifying and clustering career communities, expanding things like food service options, strengthening school identity, improving way finding for visitors to campus, and increasing parking options.
“Based on the assessment, they came up with the recommendation that the C-Building is in need of a renovation,” Mike said. “We need to replace the Student Services Building. In fact, we’re proposing the construction of four new buildings on campus altogether, including a building for science and health science.”
Currently, a large number of PCC’s science classes are being taught at relocatable buildings. One of the goals of the Facilities Master Plan, in fact, is to get those programs directly on campus.
“It will allow us to better cluster the disciplines,” Mike explained.
In addition, the Facilities Master Plan aims to create more open spaces—or green spaces, like the Quad or the mirror pools and front lawn – where students can engage with one another for informal learning experiences.
“It’s not just about providing new and sustainable buildings,” Mike said. “It’s also about supporting student success.”