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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Battey College opened new math building

Auroville – Butte College held a grand opening ceremony on Wednesday to celebrate its new math building.

“It’s exciting,” said administration vice president Andy Sulesky. “The old building was very unusable.”

Bob White, interim dean of math and science, delivered a speech to the crowd.

“It’s a re-imagined math building,” White said. “That in itself is a math gift. Mathematics can help get things done.”

Bob White, Interim Dean Of Math And Science At Butte College, Speaks During The Grand Opening And Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Of The College'S Brand New Math Building On Wednesday, June 29, 2022 In Oroville, California.  (Jenny Blevins/Enterprise-Records)
Bob White, interim dean of math and science at Butte College, speaks during the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the college’s brand new math building on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in Oroville, California. (Jenny Blevins/Enterprise-Records)

White attended Butte College as a math and physics student.

“I feel like the memory of my first calculus class is fading,” said White, who made the audience laugh.

White acknowledged the Native American tribes that had previously settled on the land.

“This land belies Native American history and experience,” he said.

Samiya Yakub, president and superintendent of Butte College, also delivered the speech with a big smile on her face.

“The building was completed on time and on budget,” said Jacob.

Yakub is retiring and today is his last day of work. Virginia Guelph took over as superintendent and president of the college on July 1.

“The students will have access to facilities and latest technology. This is a welcome sight for the mathematics department. Students can learn and grow,” Yakub said.

Classrooms are equipped with cameras so that students engaged in distance learning can see what is happening in the classrooms and follow the teachers.

The building will officially reopen for fall classes starting in August.

The chairman of the monastery department, Brooke Kennedy, felt passionate about reopening the building.

“Bob’s speech brought me to tears,” Kennedy said. “It’s such a beautiful building. It’s set up to make students feel like they’re part of a community. There’s so much more space.”

Kennedy said the students would have closer access to the faculty.

“We’ll be here to help them,” she said.

White said he was very pleased with the building reopening and returning to normal.

“I’m looking forward to a slow emergence from COVID-19 land,” White said after the ceremony. “Students will get back into the learning rhythm again.”

White taught physics at Butte College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Physics.

“It’s so exciting and I’m so lucky to be coming in and seeing this building open,” White said. “I’m excited about the learning space.”

White said 80 percent of math classes would be conducted in person.

“Most students prefer to be face-to-face,” he said.

The 14,653-square-foot math building was renovated to include eight classrooms and a computer lab as well as 16 faculty offices. The total cost was $8.3 million, using $6.3 million in state funding and $2.1 million from the Major J Fund. According to a press release, the project was funded by both State Bond and Major J Bond Funds and was funded by United Building Contractors, Inc. Off was completed by Chico.

The renovation started in February 2021 and will meet the educational needs of the students while providing energy efficient, safe and welcoming facilities for the students and teachers. The facility includes program support space, an administrative support office, work rooms and a break/conference room. Students will have access to meeting places that encourage collaborative learning and engagement with fellow peers and faculty members. According to the release, the renovation of learning spaces has allowed for the latest technology and audio/visual equipment to support the educational instruction and needs of the students.

Along with the interior improvements, the building received a complete structural seismic upgrade. The building’s mechanical, electrical, low voltage, plumbing and fire protection systems have been replaced.

World Nation News Desk
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