Article by: Jon Gonzalez
VALENCIA CAMPUS – College of the Canyons is at it once again.
What was once considered just the “M” building on campus, Mentry Hall has become a faster and larger media technology hub, which was unveiled Wednesday afternoon with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by school chancellor Dianne Van Hook.
“It brings us a facility that is going to put us ahead of what most colleges have in terms of technology and capability which should be a huge asset for our school,” said Van Hook.
The building, which over went a 13-month remodel, has added to its established art gallery and photo wet lab, boasting an innovative digital photography facility featuring new iMacs for every student and printers at each station.
Also being redone is the new television station for our own Cougar News program. The MEA department has been temporarily housed in the school’s Hasley Hall since the year-old remodel.
The site now features more offices for instructors as well as lecture halls. There are also more classrooms, new conference rooms and lounge areas for students.
The addition to Mentry Hall now joins Hasley Hall and Aliso Hall in the school’s effort to expand and further its needs.
About 25,000 students currently attend COC either full-time or part-time and that number is continuously growing.
The Mentry Hall addition and remodel was funded by local taxpayer money through a bond passed as Measure M. Out of $168 million, $10 million was used to fund the project, which has set a precedent not only for the school, but the state.
“Our aim was to prove that there was a cheaper, faster way to build. This one is all local money,” said school Vice President of Instruction Mitjl Capet.
The school was a test case for the state, which was curious whether the project could be completed on time and on budget. Mentry Hall was the only design build project in the state going to be used for instructional purposes. COC succeeded in this effort.
“This is pretty huge for us. It’s not unusual for COC to be a leader, but this is a big deal,” said Van Hook.