Amidst Protestors, LBCC Celebrates Opening of Two New Facilities

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Amidst student protestors upset over the discontinuance of several programs, Long Beach City College (LBCC) pushed forward with its celebration of the opening of two new major facilities and several modernizing upgrades at its Pacific Coast Campus.

“I pledge to continue to work with the support of the Board of Trustees and this community to build the facilities this community needs to meet the demands of the economy and to secure better futures for us all,” LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley noted. “We do all this because of a simple belief that where one starts out in life, should not determine or limit where one can go in this life.”

The two facilities are a boost to the aging satellite campus, bringing in larger spaces and more advanced technologies, along with an upgraded student union and Barnes & Noble-sponsored bookstore.

The new 85-student lecture hall is fully equipped with all audio and visual capabilities so that students and teachers alike can present and connect in ways that are not possible in other areas of the campus. The Language Lab, for example, has a camera which focuses on the instructor so that students can better practice and learn pronunciation. Additional science and nursing labs are dedicated to the increasing need of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.

Joakley 03Oakley’s comments—against the juxtaposition of the protestors, who held posters with a comic-like caricature of “Joakley” chainsawing through the titles of the programs that were discontinued this past January—were unquestionably of the moment.

He noted the continued need for properly trained workers, the focus of providing an education that fits everyone’s needs, and the desire to continue to cater to those that are underserved. And he acknowledged the protestors proudly, even at one point standing side-by-side with a protestor and leaning in to exchange words.

The ribbon cutting itself soon had the added flair of the protestors, who so tightly surrounded the inauguration that photographers began complaining. Once the ribbon was indeed cut, a male protestor soon began chiding Oakley and Board of Trustees President Roberto Uranga.

“Who do you think welded this building?” he yelled. “Who do you think made this building? All the people you cut out!”

Oakley, seemingly calm and unsurprised by the protestors, simply smiled and thanked them for showing passion and commitment with their concerns.

The new buildings and rennovations are the result of Measure E bonds, which were approved by voters first in 2002 and again in 2008 with all money going towards funding new construction and building modernization on the campuses of Long Beach City College.

Buildings DD and EE have been completely renovated to better support instructional technology, campus safety and environmental responsibilities, including an expanded student success center as well as the new campus bookstore and student union.

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