Grand Opening Planned for new Science, Math, Nursing Building at College of Marin

NASA Engineer & COM Alumnus Adam Steltzner Is Keynote Speaker

Apr 30, 2013, 21:12 ET from College of Marin

KENTFIELD, Calif., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening and dedication of the state-of-the-art Science, Math, Nursing building with noted lecturer and alumnus Adam Steltzner from the NASA Mars Rover "Curiosity" expedition. Steltzner's lecture, titled "The Right Kind of Crazy—An Improbable Journey to Mars," will be followed by a ribbon cutting and interactive tours throughout the afternoon on May 10. The event is open and free to all.

Friday, May 10
Kentfield Campus

1:30 p.m.2:15 p.m.
Dr. Adam Steltzner, lead mechanical engineer of the NASA Mars Rover Project
James Dunn Theatre

2:30 p.m.– 3 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting and Dedication
Science, Math, Nursing Building, Orbital Court

3 p.m.5 p.m.
Interactive Tours of Classrooms and Labs
Science, Math, Nursing Building

The 77,000-square-foot, three-story building on the Kentfield campus is home to state-of-the-art smart classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices. The facility, which opened to students in January, features specialized laboratory ventilation and improved safety systems. It also houses a new Central Plant that accommodates electrical and mechanical equipment for the campus. The structure and surrounding landscaping echo natural elements in the environment and a new West Bridge over Corte Madera Creek improves access to the campus from the south.

"Modernizing outdated facilities have been a top priority for the College of Marin Board of Trustees who used Measure C funds to support sustainable building practices," said Dr. David Wain Coon, COM Superintendent/President. "We invite the community to come by and see how much their support means to the students we teach."

The college broke ground on the $56 million project in 2010. The building was designed by ED2 International Architects/Planners of San Francisco. Lathrop Construction Associates, Inc. of Benicia handled construction and Swinerton Management & Consulting of San Francisco served as program and construction manager of the project. It involved the demolition of several buildings including Dickson Hall, the Dance Center, the Disabled Students Building and the Green House.

The innovatively designed building ( was designed to meet the highest sustainable building practices and has been submitted for Gold Certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program by the U.S. Green Building Council. It features photovoltaic panels and a geothermal heating and cooling water system. Natural lighting and inviting indoor and outdoor meeting spaces encourage collaboration among students, faculty and staff.

"It really brings the faculty together in a positive way," said Laura McCarty, director of Modernization. "The building lends itself to learning both inside the classroom and out. People love it. It makes them feel like they're at a university-caliber building."

The College has been recognized numerous times for its environmental stewardship that has involved Gold and Silver LEED designations for buildings as well as commendations for energy use reductions. Examples of LEED credits include energy efficiency, reduced water consumption, high air quality maintenance, recycled or recyclable building materials, transportation demand management, green roofs and tobacco smoke control.

Other Measure C projects include the Physical Education Center and pool, the track replacement project, the transformation of the Transportation Technology Complex, Main Building Complex. The final Measure C-funded modernization project, the Academic Center, is expected to be completed in 2015.

The Grand Opening of the Science, Math, Nursing Building is being co-sponsored by ED2 International Architects/Planners of San Francisco,  Lathrop Construction Associates, Glumac Engineers, CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group, 4 Leaf Inc., KPFF Consulting Engineers, and Kate Keating Associates.

About Adam Steltzner
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab lead engineer and College of Marin alumnus Adam Steltzner led the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Team for the Mars Curiosity Rover to a successful landing on the surface of Mars. During the seven minutes of terror ground control had no control over the automated system, which slowed from 13,000 MPH to a hovering speed, at which point a rocket-powered platform gently lowered the rover to the surface of Mars.

Science, Math, Nursing Building Interactive Tours
Participants will experience a code blue demonstration using a realistic technologically advanced robotic mannequin in the new Medical Simulation Lab performed by nursing students. In addition, exciting and hair raising electrical demonstrations will be offered in the physics lab, and expect some possible fireworks or other experiments performed in the chemistry lab. Biology, anthropology, and geology labs will also offered interactive opportunities on the tour.

Science, Math, Nursing Building Special Features

  • The building utilizes solar panels to supply heating for the domestic hot water system
  • The structure relies wholly on a geothermal field (approximately 400 wells) to supply the heating and cooling loads for the facility.  This field also supplies heating and cooling to the new Fine Arts building and will supply the future 44,000SF Academic Center.
  • The building has green roof areas which contribute to landfill diversion through the use of recycled materials; contributes to prolonging the life of the HAVC systems through decreased use due to the added roof insulation the green roof provides; Contributes to increased storm water management and improved air quality.
  • The use of (green building products such as) Marmoleum natural linoleum flooring provides a bio based, highly durable nontoxic, anti-microbial surface well suited for the science facility; in addition this flooring material strengthens with age.
  • The District is anticipating attaining LEED Gold rating for the building.

News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Director
Communications & Community Relations

SOURCE College of Marin