Trustees discuss library expansion, future projects

by Ashley Anderson, Staff Writer 410 views1

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Santa Clarita Community College District (SCCCD) Board of Trustees met to discuss future projects, plans and events for College of the Canyons.

“We are publicly elected officials of the state of California and our job is to oversee COC, or in this case the Santa Clarita Community College District,” explains Bruce Fortine, a member of the Board of Trustees for 15 years. “We meet at least every other week during the year and we take care of the governing of the district.”

The first topic discussed was the ongoing library expansion project.

“The building is moving along very, very quickly… we plan on being done in June and we plan on fully have occupied the library by fall semester,” stated Dr. Dianne Van Hook, president of the college and chancellor of the Santa Clarita Community College District.

At its new location, the Tutoring, Learning and Computing Lab (TLC Lab), will occupy the entire first floor of the library. It will increase in size from 5,000 sq. ft. to 41,000 sq. ft.

“The numbers are true, it is going to increase by 800% which is pretty stunning,” stated James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean of Educational Technology, Learning Resources and Distance Learning at College of the Canyons. “Both the library and the TLC support all students, all faculty and all disciplines… so this incredible expansion has the potential to support and provide the best learning environment.”

Another area of the library, the ‘Information Commons,’ will feature more than 60 new computers.

Most of the old study rooms will be torn down and replaced with new study rooms that will be located around the perimeter of the library. The rooms will comfortably seat 8 people and contain new LCD TV’s that will contain “Lecture Capture Technology.”

“This provides the instructor to record him or herself either to record a lesson that students can watch later or… students can record themselves practicing speeches or language dialog.”

The library will also feature a ‘Special Collections room’ to house college archives.

The Board also discussed the Accountability Report, which compares COC’s overall performance to the previous year.

In 2011, COC saw its largest increase in overall student progress and achievement, which jumped 10% from the previous year. There was an additional 8% increase in the percent of students who earned at least 30 units.

The climax of the night was when COC Faculty Association’s president, Chris Blakey, addressed the Board with “The Resolution.”

Recently, an anonymous survey was handed out to the faculty members of COC asking whether or not they felt that they could voice their opinion without fear of reprimand. Only 85 people responded, and of that 85, over half answered that they were afraid to voice their opinions.

“You want the passengers of the Titanic to question whether or not there is an ice berg out there,” explained Blakey.

“Our community must be defined by not only tacit approval, but also sometimes by peaceful disagreement and fruitful argument… We cannot be true friends without speaking truthfully to others about what truly matters to each and all of us. That is the true mission of the college.”

The Board of Trustees encourages students and the public to attend open meetings. For more information on COCFA’s “The Resolution” please visit Cougarnews.com.

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