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Students, faculty and administrators participate in student life groundbreaking ceremony

student life groundbreaking
Digging the first dirt for the new student life building.

More than 50 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered Nov. 20to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Student Life Center.

The ceremony began in the Lindbloom Student Center, where the participants gathered and listened to remarks by Board Chair Linda Cowan, President Eileen Ely, Vice President of Student Affairs and Interim Vice President of Human Resources Deb Casey, ASGRCC President Jakob Oehrner, and Washington state senator Joe Fain of Auburn.

"We are committed to educating the whole person," remarked President Ely. "Student Life is a critical part of the college experience. It provides depth to education and the soft skills our students need for the workplace and their daily lives."

The crowd then headed outside to the site of the new Student Life Center, where Renee Lozier Rojas from the Muckleshoot Tribal College blessed the ground. Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director Michael Tuncap said a prayer and student ambassador Mata'ava Mulivai sang a blessing.

Guests, staff and students shoveled the first dirt for the new building to resounding applause. Delighted students posed with each other and were joined by student life leaders Dani Chang and Story Gilmore as they did their part to break the ground.

The new Student Life building will feature a new bookstore, cafeteria, fitness and wellness center, coffee house, dining area, conference services, meeting and study areas, and plenty of space for clubs and student activities. Bids close Dec. 12 and building demolition is expected to start in January. The new Student Life Center is anticipated to open fall quarter 2015.

"What our students will walk into in 2015 is a space to call 'their own,' said Casey. "the College is truly grateful for our current student contributions to the new facility planning and thankful to our previous students and alums who took the initiative and had the vision to make our new Student Center a reality."