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Southwestern College Touts New Football Field, Classroom Building

Southwestern College's New Environmentally Friendly Grid Iron and Fieldhouse to Open August 18

Schools love to show off their new buildings, and Southwestern College in Chula Vista has one that will open later this month that it’s particularly proud of.

The $25 million Fieldhouse Classroom and DeVore Stadium will be dedicated on Aug. 15 at a free public event from 3:30 to 5 p.m. And then it will be ready for students and faculty when fall classes start Aug. 18.

Funding for the project came from the $389 million Proposition R, a bond measure voters approved in 2008.

The four-story Fieldhouse has offices for teachers, classrooms, a fitness center and a locker room that opens onto the new football field. It also was built with several energy-saving features.

“They say there are aspects of this building that have no impact on the environment,” Mark Claussen, the college’s bond manager, said at a media tour on Thursday.

The school is submitting it for what’s called a LEED gold certification. It’s given out by the U.S. Green Building Council and means the Fieldhouse was constructed to minimize its environmental footprint.

There are four certification levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum

What Southwestern accomplished in making the project green is even more impressive when you hear about the construction budget, said Malinda Nash, Southwestern’s superintendent/president.

“We're very pleased that on a LEED silver budget we were able to design and build smart, and now we're able to come in with a LEED gold certification for this building."

The football field is made of artificial turf that will be a huge water saver, Claussen said. "This field just by itself is going to save in the neighborhood of a million gallons or more a year just in water,” he said.

It also has its own underground cooling system that uses water to wick away the heat.

Football coach Ed Carberry said his team will be lucky to play on the new field.

"This is the best facility, and it's a Division I athletic facility at a two-year college," Carberry said.

More projects funded by Proposition R also are in the works at Southwestern:

• A Wellness Center to house recreation and wellness programs, including competition and therapy pools.

• A math, science and engineering building, the first of the construction projects to be devoted solely to academics.

• A performing arts facility.

• An expansion of the college’s National City campus.