Santa Monica College (SMC) will dedicate a new Quad area and Humanities and Social Science Building at the center of the main campus during a ceremony scheduled at 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 3rd, at the Quad.

The event will feature brief remarks by SMC and other officials, as well as a site-specific dance by members of the college’s Synapse Dance Theater. The campus facelift was designed not only to provide a more rewarding experience for students but to enhance their education, SMC officials said.

“We’re getting tremendous feedback on the Quad, and people like the indoor-outdoor and airy feel of the HSS (Humanities and Social Science) Building,” said Greg Brown, director of facilities planning. “The Quad gives the college a finished feel, a university feel, and students have been using it to study, relax, visit with friends, listen to outdoor concerts and more.”

The four-acre Quad opened in late August at the start of the current semester. The $9 million project, funded by Measure U — the SMC bond approved by voters in 2002 — features a promenade of pavers lined by palm trees and flanked by two large water fountains. Grass areas, trees, large planters and seating areas fill out the Quad, which was designed by tBP Architects and MelÈndrez landscape architects.

The $26.6 million Humanities and Social Science Building was constructed in two phases — the north wing opened in fall 2006 and the south wing in fall 2007.

The new 53,000-square-foot complex, which faces onto the Quad, is connected with pedestrian bridges and walkways. Its contemporary design features the use of Roman brick, painted metal, white concrete and glass. For its environmentally sensitive features, it has earned a coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The humanities building has 22 classrooms, as well as faculty offices and lab and tutoring space. Each classroom is wired for computer and Internet access. The complex houses the history, social science and psychology departments.

The structure replaces the Liberal Arts Building, which was constructed in 1952 and was heavily damaged in the 1994 earthquake. The north wing of the humanities building was designed by Renzo Zecchetto Architects of Santa Monica, a renowned firm that also designed the SMC Performing Arts Center.

Funding for the new humanities building came from four sources: City of Santa Monica Earthquake Redevelopment Project funds ($10.2 million), Federal Emergency Management Agency ($3.1 million), the state ($4.4 million), and Measure U, the 2002 Santa Monica-Malibu bond measure ($8.9 million), college officials said.

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