Consider Cal State Dominguez Hills transformed.
And on Friday, Oct. 15, university officials celebrated that transformation by cutting the ribbon on four new campus facilities.
Much of the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus, near Carson, spent the past four years undergoing renovations, remodels and other quality-of-life improvements – a lot of which occurred throughout the height of the coronavirus pandemic. But now most of the construction is wrapped up, so university officials gathered Friday with local, education and state leaders for a grand opening ceremony and simultaneous ribbon cuttings for the four new facilities.
Three of the newly upgraded buildings were major capital projects for the university that totaled more than $200 million and made history as the biggest campus expansion in more than a decade.
“This is a tremendous achievement not only for our campus, but for the community we serve,” said CSUDH President Thomas Parham. “We will no longer be looked at as just ‘that’ university, but as a university that uplifts its community and stands as a shining beacon of education and success.”
And, Parham said, this would not have been possible without “the blueprint laid out by my predecessor,” former President Willie Hagan.
The projects unveiled to the community included a remodeled Science and Innovation Building, costing about $67.85 million. The building soft-opened to students in fall 2020, though students were only allowed on campus in a limited capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic. The building features a 91,000 square foot instructional and research center. That building also includes the Toyota Center for Innovation in STEM Education, a 7,000 square foot center made possible by a $4 million donation from the Toyota USA Foundation.
The center includes a fabrication lab, as well as labs for K-12 teacher demonstrations.
The next major unveiling was the Innovation and Instruction Building, totaling $83.5 million. The 107,600 square foot, four-story structure features a 250-seat auditorium, collaborative learning classrooms, distance learning spaces, event spaces and offices.
It is slated to open for classroom use in the spring.
Then there’s the new Student Resident Housing, a $55.87 million project. The housing complex features 506 beds, though because of the coronavirus pandemic, capacity has been limited. The complex opened in the fall and currently houses more than 200 students.
On the outside walls of the complex, eight 47-foot-high murals by L.A. artist Iris Yirei Hu features figures such as iconic author James Baldwin.
Last is the Esports Incubator Lab. It will be the first Esports Incubator Lab housed in a university library. The lab will feature a broadcasting booth, competition stage and a classroom with furnishings and technology provided through a partnership with electronics company ViewSonic.
“This is what Esports and gaming is all about,” said Ruben Caputo, CSUDH Esport’s general manager. “To create peer-to-peer relationships that will not only bridge the gap between those interested in the gaming world, but to help mentor young students with an interest in technology.”
Friday’s celebration included tours of the new facilities — and ended with the simultaneous cutting of four ribbons across the campus.
“None of this great work,” Parham said,” would be possible without you, my amazing team and community.”