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Mid-project tour of City College

Cafeteria leaks to be fixed and rooftop hangout established

The rooftop of the T building will be the site of a greenhouse and solar array.
The rooftop of the T building will be the site of a greenhouse and solar array.

“Part of the project is to remove all of the concrete here and redo it,” said City College project manager Tom Fine last week during a construction-zone tour of the campus. “And I don’t know if you have ever been up here during summer — it’s hot and nobody likes to come here. It's desolate.”

Renovations to the A, D, and T buildings at the college are last among the voter-approved Proposition N projects, an $870 million bond that passed in 2006 to update San Diego Community College District campuses.

D building rooftop "will be a place where people can come to eat and study."

The large rooftop/viewpoint was never given a name on the campus map: it is labeled the “D Building,” a one-story concrete structure with a public-accessible roof, a ground-level open-air courtyard, a cafeteria, and an elevator.

“So the project here is, ‘let’s bring this back to life,’ with raised platforms, seating, canopies, and reinvigorated planters,” Fine said. “This will be a place where people can come to eat and study.”

City College campus map

From the rooftop, students and staff have a panoramic view of downtown San Diego buildings and parts of the Coronado bridge.

The views under the roof were not as breathtaking: on some rainy days, the cafeteria ceiling leaked and buckets would be set out to catch the water.

Fine said that aside from redoing the roof drains, a fire-extinguishing sprinkler system and alarm systems will be installed, restrooms will be made more disabled-friendly, and the dining area will get a facelift.

Bridge that leads to rooftop of T building

“This is where the leak is,” Fine said, pointing to non-slip steel plates on the concrete between the D and A buildings. “There is a seismic separation here and over the years the leak got worse.”

The school website explains the history of the two other buildings that will get a makeover.

Between 1953 and 1954, the first parcel of land, a single city block between Russ Boulevard and A Street, from 14th to 15th streets, was purchased for the permanent home of what is now San Diego City College. The first buildings constructed were the A and T buildings, which were finished in 1956. Approximately 60 years later, most of the two buildings were demolished.

“About 85 percent of it gets recycled,” Fine said. “Like this concrete, it will get smashed up and made into road base for new roads and streets.”

The mural above the old bookstore and the large pepper tree by the A Building will remain.

Some of the plaques on the old structure will be reused in the new construction — such as the Schwartz Plaza plaque, which was dedicated to Larry Schwartz, a City College history professor who passed away in 1995. The plaza was an open area in the middle of the A building’s administration and financial-aid offices.

The mural that is painted above the old bookstore and the large pepper tree by the A building will survive the revamp.

The curved bridge that connects to the T building rooftop was partially demolished for the makeover. It was “the first rooftop parking [200 cars] in San Diego,” according to the school's website. It will soon be used for solar arrays and a large greenhouse lab for the campus agriculture and photovoltaic programs.

The Proposition S and N project summary table on the district website states that approximately $64 million was budgeted for the A, D, and T building renovations and that they should be completed by June 2018. A new "Child Development building" is listed to be the next big project on campus.

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The rooftop of the T building will be the site of a greenhouse and solar array.
The rooftop of the T building will be the site of a greenhouse and solar array.

“Part of the project is to remove all of the concrete here and redo it,” said City College project manager Tom Fine last week during a construction-zone tour of the campus. “And I don’t know if you have ever been up here during summer — it’s hot and nobody likes to come here. It's desolate.”

Renovations to the A, D, and T buildings at the college are last among the voter-approved Proposition N projects, an $870 million bond that passed in 2006 to update San Diego Community College District campuses.

D building rooftop "will be a place where people can come to eat and study."

The large rooftop/viewpoint was never given a name on the campus map: it is labeled the “D Building,” a one-story concrete structure with a public-accessible roof, a ground-level open-air courtyard, a cafeteria, and an elevator.

“So the project here is, ‘let’s bring this back to life,’ with raised platforms, seating, canopies, and reinvigorated planters,” Fine said. “This will be a place where people can come to eat and study.”

City College campus map

From the rooftop, students and staff have a panoramic view of downtown San Diego buildings and parts of the Coronado bridge.

The views under the roof were not as breathtaking: on some rainy days, the cafeteria ceiling leaked and buckets would be set out to catch the water.

Fine said that aside from redoing the roof drains, a fire-extinguishing sprinkler system and alarm systems will be installed, restrooms will be made more disabled-friendly, and the dining area will get a facelift.

Bridge that leads to rooftop of T building

“This is where the leak is,” Fine said, pointing to non-slip steel plates on the concrete between the D and A buildings. “There is a seismic separation here and over the years the leak got worse.”

The school website explains the history of the two other buildings that will get a makeover.

Between 1953 and 1954, the first parcel of land, a single city block between Russ Boulevard and A Street, from 14th to 15th streets, was purchased for the permanent home of what is now San Diego City College. The first buildings constructed were the A and T buildings, which were finished in 1956. Approximately 60 years later, most of the two buildings were demolished.

“About 85 percent of it gets recycled,” Fine said. “Like this concrete, it will get smashed up and made into road base for new roads and streets.”

The mural above the old bookstore and the large pepper tree by the A Building will remain.

Some of the plaques on the old structure will be reused in the new construction — such as the Schwartz Plaza plaque, which was dedicated to Larry Schwartz, a City College history professor who passed away in 1995. The plaza was an open area in the middle of the A building’s administration and financial-aid offices.

The mural that is painted above the old bookstore and the large pepper tree by the A building will survive the revamp.

The curved bridge that connects to the T building rooftop was partially demolished for the makeover. It was “the first rooftop parking [200 cars] in San Diego,” according to the school's website. It will soon be used for solar arrays and a large greenhouse lab for the campus agriculture and photovoltaic programs.

The Proposition S and N project summary table on the district website states that approximately $64 million was budgeted for the A, D, and T building renovations and that they should be completed by June 2018. A new "Child Development building" is listed to be the next big project on campus.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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