Frustrations and concern grow over new health and science building’s opening

Buildings RBG
Illustration by Eduardo Velasquez

The new Health Sciences building is scheduled to open in the spring of 2024. If the Johnson Student and Science Center are any indication, this means that within the first month of opening, the building will undoubtedly face an array of problems.

It seems that Santa Ana College has a habit of opening faulty buildings. While it is district policy and not a single person that dictates that contracts go to the lowest bidder, the old adage holds true, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, the students pay the cost that the district saves. 

Though these buildings pass through a thorough inspection to confirm their safety according to California codes, somehow problems still slip through the cracks.

When the new Science Center opened for the first time, it was evacuated twice in the same month. The first was just an overly sensitive system response to someone’s vape in a bathroom. The second was due to the building’s ventilation system not functioning properly.

While in both instances no one was injured, that was still twice in one month. Classes were impacted not only for the students who were evacuated, but also for those in surrounding buildings whose lessons were abruptly interrupted by the sound of alarms and emergency vehicles, and the concern that they might be in danger.

The lackluster communication between the administration and students at large does nothing to reassure the campus when these incidents occur.    

Issues within the women’s bathrooms persist throughout both the Science Center and the Johnson Student Center. Poorly working soap dispensers and empty towel dispensers have plagued the new buildings since their openings. Because we know what this campus could always use is more faulty bathrooms.

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As recently as this semester, the Johnson Student Center, which opened a year ago, was still going through plumbing repairs.

Students and professors need the resources that come with these new additions. Upgraded facilities and equipment, and robust student services can be the difference between passing and failing, but not if they can’t fully utilize them.

When a new building is already under maintenance so soon after opening, it feels like all that time, effort, and money isn’t being spent properly. It comes across that SAC is more concerned with aesthetics than effectiveness.

The SAC community has already put up with so many issues during the construction period, like limited parking, construction noise, and at times having to learn to navigate around work areas, they deserve facilities that work as intended once opened.

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