Cross-Cultural Center Breaks Ground for Massive Expansion

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‘The square footage is going to almost double,’ said Interim Program Coordinator Sherwynn Umali. ‘We are building out to the parking lot behind us. … They are going to add on a floor to the building [that will be built] in the back.’
The Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium is usually accompanied with a march and rally, but for the groundbreaking on Jan. 19, the events were fused together.
‘We wanted to do the march symbolizing the civil rights marches and [have it] end in front of the CCC where there will be a stage,’ Umali said. ‘Instead of a rally, it is now a groundbreaking.’
The groundbreaking took place in front of the CCC. Chanting marchers were met with a drum performance by Jodaiko. Speakers addressed the necessity of the Center’s expansion.
‘In this multiethnic state and nation, the Cross needs to lead the way, set an example of how we constructively interact across racial, ethnic and cultural lines,’ said speaker Joseph White.
The additional space resulting from the expansion will allow for more student programming.
‘They are going to move the professional staff offices upstairs,’ Umali said. ‘The plan is to have five total staff members in the future, which will lead to more programming and just more hands in a lot of projects. Our traditional programs are going to stay the same, but I’m sure that if we can get the budget to hire more people, there will be more programs.’
In addition to the increase in staff offices, there will be two more conference rooms, and all five umbrella organizations will have space.
The CCC will remain open during construction.
‘The construction company will put a fence up around the backside here … [and] close the parking lot,’ Umali said. ‘They are going to tear down the walls of the back three offices, which were formerly an intern office, a computer lab and a study lounge. When they are finished constructing the new structure, the staff will move in to the new offices upstairs and then [the construction company] will work on these three [staff] offices.’
The expansion of the CCC is estimated to be completed in the fall of 2006. Umali sees the expansion as long overdue and necessary.
‘I think it symbolizes the importance of the Center to the campus community,’ Umali said.