New and improved student center opens to much fanfare


Jenn Schopfer

The main entrance to the Student Center is located near the library. (Photo by Jenn Schopfer)

Jeff Gonzales and Jeff Gonzales

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Nestled between the American River College bookstore and library, the new Student Services building provides a modern space for the ARC community.

“It’s been a long time in coming,” said Manuel Perez, Dean of Student Services. “[The building] will revolutionize the way we look at community college campuses. State wide, this can set a standard.”

Discussions regarding the new building started in 2008, the building has been highly anticipated by many of the students on campus.

“It’s nice, better than I thought it would be” said Barbara Baldwin, an ARC student completing her General Ed. “The only thing I would change would be to have more plugs for laptops.”

Construction of the new facility started in late 2011. The open flow, spacious accommodations, and high ceilings has many people talking about the design.

“[I’m hearing] a lot about energy and flow.” Perez said about students reactions. ” I’m hearing ‘we finally get what we deserve.’ Even the architects said this was one of the more appealing buildings.”

With many student services now housed under the same roof, my tedious processes are being streamlined and more facilities are available for longer hours.

One such change is the availability of using the space on Friday afternoons. The previous cafeteria would close at 2 p.m. on Fridays. That has now been changed to 5 p.m.

“The first Friday, the whole facility closed at 2.” Perez said. “So we talked to our folks to get that changed. We are now open week nights till 7 and Fridays till 5.”

The center provides some great new features like a Starbucks, a Subway, and an improved cafeteria. It also opens up new meeting spaces, provides more seating and study areas, and provides the feeling of a modern, updated campus.

While “The Spot” has been closed, “The Hub” provides many of the same services for the Students of ARC.

“Here in ‘The Hub,’ we have international students, the Journey Program, and a Mesa Puente counselor,” said Karyna Roa, a psychology major working at “The Hub.” “The computers can be used by any student but only [in house groups] can use the printers because of the budget.”

Although an official schedule of events planned for the new building has yet to be posted, there are plans to host a number of activities to promote the diversity and culture of ARC.