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Cuyamaca College Student Center celebrating reopening

Posted on: Nov 8, 2019 12:00:00 AM
In: Cuyamaca, District
Buildings and Facilities, Featured
Contact: Della Elliott

Dubbed the “Heart of the Campus” at its first opening in 2007, the Cuyamaca College Student Center is beating anew with vigor and fresh energy.

A grand reopening is set for 9-10 a.m. Thursday, Nov 14, to show off the refurbished center that will provide space to better serve students, including expanded services to veterans and career and employment guidance. The public is invited to tour the refurbished center. RSVPs are welcome at

Most of the bottom floor of the facility has been closed since January while walls were torn down and wiring and fixtures disconnected to rebuild the interior.

The $4.2 million project was funded by Proposition V, the $398 million construction bond measure approved by East County voters in 2012. It includes a new veterans center on the first floor that brings all veterans-related services under one roof, as well as a new career center on the second floor bringing a full slate of career services, instruction and resources now possible with added space and staffing.

The project consisted of improvements of about 17,000 square feet for student government and clubs; the bookstore; convenience store; career/job placement; veterans services; Student Affairs, and student lounge. With the exception of the career center which moves in early December, all tenants are now operating in the revamped center.

“The updates to the Student Center serve our students by centralizing needed services and providing a space for students to study, work collaboratively, and relax between classes,” said President Julianna Barnes. “Many of our students work, care for family members, and attend school. They need a space on campus that feels like their own, and has easy access to the support services they need.”

For the estimated 300 veterans enrolled at Cuyamaca College, the new center promises to be a home away from home. With nearly 2,500 square feet, the new center nearly triples the amount of space previously available for veterans services. A major improvement is being able to provide the tracking, bookkeeping and certification required for VA benefits, and to serve the unique needs of student veterans and their dependents in a central location.

“Student veterans and military-affiliated students can now access a ‘one-stop shop’ to get their questions answered and to have a haven of their own to study, relax and talk to other veterans,” said veterans counselor Osvaldo Torres.

With s state grant funding a veterans center coordinator, new computers, a food pantry for veterans and their families, a textbook library, and school supply kits, the veterans center plans to expand outreach and services.

Upstairs, major improvements are in store with the addition of a new career center that is undergoing both a program and facility remodel for the Career Services office. Counselor Cindy Morrin said that the Career Education program and counseling are joining forces to staff the new center and to provide improved career counseling, job and internship placement, as well as career workshops.

“The new space will be more visible to students as it is centrally located on campus,” Morrin said. “The new center will provide comprehensive services to all students.”

In addition to the student center renovation, Cuyamaca College’s other major Prop V projects include renovation and improvements to the Ornamental Horticulture Complex and a new Student Services and Administration Building. Major projects for Grossmont College include a Performing and Visual Arts Center, scheduled to be completed in January; a Liberal Arts/Business and Technology Complex; and a Science, Math and Career Tech Complex.

Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon, CA 92019.


The student lounge area of Cuyamaca College's remodeled Student CenterCuyamaca student center lounge

Student veterans have a new veterans center at Cuyamaca College.cuyamaca college veterans center

Cuyamaca College's new veterans center has a food pantry among its resources.Cuyamaca veterans center pantry

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