Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone "green" Newark campus debuts

By Web Bowers.

Thursday, January 31, 2008—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

The ribbon is cut.

Several dignitaries from the Tri-City community were on hand at Ohlone Community College's Newark campus Monday to commemorate the official opening of the new facility, the first of its kind to be LEED certified.

The college's Center for Health Sciences and Technology, located on Cherry Street in Newark across from Newark Memorial High School, will have 3,500 students enrolled this winter and spring.

Funded in part by 2002 Measure A monies, construction on the center began in 2006 and cost $118 million to build.

Ohlone College President Douglas Treadway said the campus was the first school facility in the world to be designated with the platinum level of "green building" standards.

He said there are only about 50 non-educational buildings worldwide with that designation.

Linda Cisneros, Ohlone's chief executive officer for the Newark campus, said she has eagerly awaited the facility's opening.

"I remember when the first beam went up in January of 2006, and I watched every beam go up since then," she said. "We're looking forward to this first day of classes and getting things rolling here."

Rich Geha, chair of Ohlone College Foundation Board of Directors, said the college's idea to build a center in Newark was remarkable.

"I remember going to a local town hall meeting and having to convince people that (the Newark center) was a great idea," he said. "It's nice to see the entire community from Fremont, to the college to Newark gather here to see these intelligent minds go forward with this new idea."

Tatyana Hamady, president of the Associated Students of Ohlone College, said all of the school's students, not just the ones enrolled at the new facility, were looking forward to its opening.

"We're all so excited to see this opening finally happen," she said. "It's great that the community can finally see all the hard work and time that was put into the project."

During Monday's ceremony, Cisneros, Geha and Hamady all acknowledged the construction firm, faculty, staff and students who were involved in the creation of the center.

Everyone involved then joined Treadway and Andrew Galvan, a representative with the Ohlone people, in the "ribbon" cutting.

The ribbon was actually a rope made from the grass growing outside the Newark campus doors, which Galvan cut with an obsidian knife.

Galvan explained that obsidian was considered to be very ceremonial, as it was once used to cut a child's umbilical cord at birth.

"Today is the start of a new beginning at Ohlone, and we will continue the Ohlone community's legacy by cutting this ribbon to start a new beginning here in Newark," Galvan said.

The ceremony was capped by releasing about a dozen doves into the air outside the facility.

The festivities did not end there, though. On Thursday, the college held a dedication to commemorate the center's green certification a Green Tie gala will be held tonight at the new center.

Ohlone College is also sponsoring a "Buy A Brick program" if you want to be a part of the new campus.

For $150, you can engrave your name on a brick at the front entrance of the center. For more information about the program, visit www.ohlone.edu/go/brick.

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