Article - Office of College Advancement

Services center a one-stop shop for Ohlone students

By Matthew Artz.

Saturday, August 29, 2009—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area: The Argus.

Fremont—Ohlone College offers plenty of services, but finding them hasn't always been easy.

The counselors were in Building 1, the nurses were in trailers, and some of the programs for disabled students were tucked so deep into Building 5, "you needed a map just to find them," said Ron Travenick, vice president of student development.

But those days are over.

When students return for fall classes Monday, they will find the new Student Services Center on the southeast portion of the Fremont campus, next to Parking Lot O.

The three-story $34 million building is designed as a one-stop-shop where students can register, see a nurse, find a counselor and deal with all those pesky financial aid forms.

"It's better than the old ones," Jennifer Virrey, of Fremont, said as she walked through the building Friday. "You don't have to go very far anymore."

Departments now residing in the 45,000-square-foot building include Career Services, Counseling, Student Government, Financial Aid, International Programs, Health Services, Career Services and Disabled Students Programs and Services.

"When a student walks in on the second floor, they have in their line of sight (access to) every service they need to enroll," Travenick said. The third floor is home to services for matriculated students, such as counseling and the health center.

The project, completed this summer, is part of the college's effort to improve access to the Fremont campus's main quad, so students can park near most campus buildings without having to walk up the hill from the parking lot, Travenick said. A new parking lot near the main quad also is being planned.

The center, funded through the college's $150 million voter-approved bond, has been in the works for 15 years. Originally it was going to include a fourth floor with a new student union, but that was left out when cost estimates came in too high, Travenick said.

This fall, the student government will be contributing money to renovate the Student Union cafeteria, he added.

The center replaces the former Building 7, which was a lecture hall. Similar to Ohlone's new Newark campus, it is built to high environmental standards and incorporates recycled and natural materials.

The building also offers meeting rooms for student groups, which previously had to compete with faculty for classrooms, Travenick said.

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