Cuyamaca College, Communication Arts Building

El Cajon, California

  • FIRM

    NTDSTICHLER Architecture


    Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

  • AREA

    84,000 sq.ft.





This project constructs a new multi-disciplinary laboratory-learning center for English as a second language, reading, speech, American Sign Language, music, drama, fine art and related assisted learning. Included are instructional labs (both computer and conventional), independent learning labs, performance/assembly spaces, a digital theater/planetarium, and exhibit ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$280.00CITATIONWork in Progress CitationFEATURED IN2006 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress necessary support space.

It addresses the fact that Cuyamaca College was built as little more than an educational center with only minimal lab facilities and no assembly facilities. In fall 1999, Cuyamaca had an enrollment of 7,086, far exceeding that of a center. The 4,125 FTE students generated in fall 1999 indicated a low average load per student of only 8.73 hours. The cause was a chronic lack of specialized lab facilities needed by students to fill out their curricula. The solution as provided in this project is to construct almost exclusively lab-related facilities.

Situated on a hillside on the Cuyamaca College campus, the Communication Arts Building is a three-story, 84,000-square-foot facility. Its central vertical circulation structure serves as the campus’ primary means of pedestrian movement between its upper and lower levels.

"Elegant light-diffusing strategy in the fine-arts studios. Provides `entry building` to the rest of campus."--2006 jury