BC celebrates new STEM building with ribbon cutting ceremony


Amanda Hernandez

Stephen Waller, Executive Dean of Instruction, Math, Science and Engineering at BC, speaks Sept. 7 at the ribbon cutting ceremony for BC’s new STEM building.

Amanda Hernandez, Reporter

Bakersfield College held a public ribbon cutting event Sept. 7 to celebrate the new Science and Engineering building.

The idea for the project began in 2016, and the entire process took over six years to complete. The full cost of the new structure was well over $40 million and paid for with bond funding made possible with the passage of Measure J.

Bakersfield College president Zav Dadabhoy speaking on September 7
BC president Zav Dadabhoy speaks at ribbon cutting ceremony for BC’s new STEM building on Sept. 7. (Amanda Hernandez)

During the ribbon cutting event, BC President Zav Dadabhoy stated that former Congressman Bill Thomas was really the one who pushed to make the building idea become a reality.

The creation of the building was part of an effort to give students more opportunities to expand their knowledge, increase essential career skills and graduate from BC with hands-on experience.

The overall design of the building has gained a lot of attention because of its unique structure, filled with secrets. There is a tree design that is made to absorb sounds, and it follows a famous math sequence found in nature.

It has bricks that look like all of the other BC buildings, however, they are different. To crack the code, you have to learn about orbitals.

The windows that represent the blueprint of life and how scientists decode the blueprint. It also has a peg board also known as a binary board that codes words following the language of computers. These additions to the building aren’t always very obvious.

Christina from HMC architects said of designing the project, “It wasn’t hard at all, it was actually really fun. The design took us two years and then the construction was an additional two years. As the architects we stay throughout the entire process and help the construction team if they have questions or when things need to be changed.”

There are many different things inside the building including classrooms, lecture halls, the robotic room, and areas to sit or study.

People expressed appreciation for the building. “I like it. It has a lot of comfortable places to sit. The soft chairs are so nice. The classrooms are spacious, and it is quiet enough to study yet not too quiet to also eat. It’s like the perfect combination between the library and the dining commons,” student Sydney Schultz said.

Professors who were on hand shared their point of view, and how effective the new building makes the process of teaching students.

Timothy Plett, who teaches physics in the new

building stated, “I have mostly been using the new building for labs and conducting office hours. The students have more space to learn, are able to interact with state-of-the-art equipment, and it definitely makes a difference in them being able to fully grasp what I am trying to teach them.”