CHICO — It was a day to celebrate as more than 100 staff, administrators, students and members of the community gathered Friday afternoon to witness the opening ceremony for the brand-new science building at Chico State.
Visitors stood in Bahapki Commons outside the $101 million, 110,200-square-foot facility designed to “advance the university’s role as a leader in the north state and across higher education,” according to a press release.
Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson welcomed the crowd on a stage in front of a huge red, white and black balloon arc. “I’m excited to be here today,” Hutchinson said. “Bahapki honors the Mechoopda Indians and is a tribute to their contribution and sacrifices made.”
Chico State Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Larson smiled broadly as she addressed the crowd.
“I’m so touched you are all here today,” Larson said. “This building is an innovative space that is not just limited to science majors, but also agriculture, education and other majors. Our hope is that every Chico State student will pass through this building.”
Chico State medical student Carlos Melcher was excited to be at the event. “The science building allows us to collaborate in ways we couldn’t do in the past,” he said.
After the speakers finished, students led tours through the seven-story building.
Rosales Espinoza and Esteban Teran, both physics students, led a small group on a tour through the facility.
“I was here when we were in the old building,” Teran said. “This is such an improvement.”
Freshman psychology major Laura Solis worked on homework in a study lab on the fourth floor of the building. According to Solis, the lab is a place for students to study, print papers and get prepared for their next class.
“It’s a great building,” Solis said.
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