Daily Business Report-Dec. 11, 2013
The new Math+Science Complex at San Diego Mesa College was built by McCarthy Building Companies Inc.
Mesa College’s $109 Million Math+Science Complex
Ready for Student Occupancy in Spring Quarter
San Diego Mesa College students will be able to start attending class in the new $109 million Math+Science Complex in the spring quarter, a project just completed by McCarthy Building Companies Inc.
Built with Propositions S and N construction bond funds, the 206,000-square-foot, four-story building will provide new educational space for students pursuing degree and certificate programs in biology, chemistry, physical sciences and mathematics. The building houses four floors of classrooms, computer classrooms, and teaching lab classrooms, as well as faculty, staff and administrative support space. Specialty spaces include a greenhouse and an astronomy observation center located on the rooftop.
The complex was designed by Architects | Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker. It features a contemporary design with light-colored terrazzo flooring, stainless steel railings and finishes, aluminum wall panels and precast concrete stairways. A central lobby, comprising a pair of two-story atria, links the laboratory and classroom/office wings. A courtyard between the two wings provides outdoor circulation space, as well as an exterior space for educational opportunities.
Lance Lareau, architect for the San Diego Community College District, said the project was delivered on budget and ahead of the planned opening date.
The Math+Science Complex occupies a 200,000-square-foot site immediately east of the existing Learning Resource Center near the center of the campus. McCarthy’s construction crews disassembled three older buildings on the site before breaking ground for the new facility in August 2011.
Project consultants included Hope Engineering, RBF Consulting, and exp. Wimmer Yamada and Caughey was the landscape architect. Gafcon is the program manager for the bond construction program.
Secret New Unmanned Aircraft Shows Stealth, Efficiency Advances
AVIATION WEEK — A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying — and it demonstrates a major advance in combining stealth and aerodynamic efficiency. Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (UAS), designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, is scheduled to enter production for the U.S. Air Force and could be operational by 2015.
Funded through the Air Force’s classified budget, the program to build this new UAS, dubbed the RQ-180, was awarded to Northrop Grumman after a competition that included Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The aircraft will conduct the penetrating ISR mission that has been left unaddressed, and under wide debate, since retirement of the Lockheed SR-71 in 1998.
Neither the Air Force nor Northrop Grumman would speak about the classified airplane. When queried about the project, Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy said, “The Air Force does not discuss this program.”
The RQ-180 carries radio-frequency sensors such as active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and passive electronic surveillance measures, according to one defense official. It could also be capable of electronic attack missions.
U.S. and Mexico Officials Break Ground
On $700 Million Border Infrastructure Project
U.S. and Mexico officials joined together on Tuesday near Otay Mesa Road and SR 125 to wave orange flags and signal construction crews to begin work on a $700 million border infrastructure project, KPBS reports. The goal of the new freeway, and eventually a new port of entry, is to cut border wait times and boost cross-border trade. The 2.5-mile state Route 11 will be built in three stages.
The $112 million first segment will include connectors to state Route 905 and a stretch of new highway from that freeway east to Enrico Fermi Drive.
Segments planned for the future will extend the highway to the border and create a new border crossing. Other plans call for toll roads approaching the border, crossing both north and south of the border, allowing travelers the opportunity to pay a fee to get to the border more quickly and avoid lengthy waits.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales says the project will expand economic opportunities in San Diego and across the state. According to the San Diego Association of Government, $54 billion worth of goods move across the region’s borders annually, yet truckers regularly face waits that exceed two hours at each crossing.
Lawyers Club of San Diego Spreads Grants to Local Nonprofits
Lawyers Club of San Diego will present grants totaling $19,000 to six local nonprofit organizations at its annual holiday luncheon on Dec. 12. The club earlier this year made $8,500 in grants, bringing the total to $27,500 through its Fund for Justice.
The Fund for Justice on Thursday will award $2,500 to the Juvenile Court Book Club; $2,500 to the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition; $1,500 to Reading Legacies; $1,500 to Casa Cornelia Law Center; $4,000 to the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program for its domestic violence clinic; and $7,000 to SDVLP for its annual Women’s Resource Fair, co-sponsored by Lawyers Club.
In its Spring grant cycle, the Fund for Justice made grants to four additional organizations: $2,500 to Musicians for Education, Inc. – Street of Dreams project; $2,500 to New Entra Casa Corporation, $2,500 to Kids’ Turn San Diego, and $1,000 to the National Family Justice Center Alliance.
El Cajon Group Wins California’s Highest Environmental Honor
When it comes to educating children about saving water, a nonprofit group in El Cajon is doing it right, KPBS reports. The Water Conservation Garden was one of 13 recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership award, the California
Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.
The award specifically recognizes the Water Conservation Garden’s Ms. Smarty-Plants program, an interactive presentation led by a character of the same name that teaches children ways to save water.
The Water Conservation Garden was the only recipient from San Diego County.
The group’s director, John Bolthouse, said one of the program’s goals is to pass on water conservation information from the kids to their parents. “When you’re trying to make major changes in a culture, it really starts with kids,” Bolthouse said.
Ms. Smarty-Plants was developed five years ago by Pam Meisner, the Water Conversation Garden’s education director. Meisner, or another member of the staff, dresses up as the charismatic Ms. Smarty-Plants and uses props, other actors and audience participation to engage kids.
“It’s not just fun right on the spot, but they’re retaining this education in subsequent months and years,” Bolthouse said.
By year’s end, Bolthouse said the Ms. Smarty-Plants program will have reached 50,000 children.
San Diego North Chamber Hires Director of Business Development
The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce has named Rich Kwiatkowski director of business development, effective Jan. 2. Kwiatkowski has more than 11 years of executive and management experience in the private and public sectors. He recently worked for Medtronic as a territory consultant and co-managed a $12 million medical device territory. Prior to working for Medtronic, he was director of marketing for San Diego International Airport. Kwiatkowski
has held board positions including chair of the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana, marketing Chair for Junior Achievement of San Diego, and the executive committee for San Diego North Economic Development Council.