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The Story of GCC:
The 21st Century 2000s

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The 21st Century 2000s

Northward Bound

Sign for GCC North

The beginning of the next millennium marked a significant period of growth for the college. In the largest construction surge since the founding of the school, GCC expanded the main campus with several major renovations and the construction of new and notable buildings that included the state-of-the-art Life Science and Public Safety Science buildings. However, college growth did not simply stop there, but GCC also expanded northward with an entirely new campus facility. This campus, dubbed GCC North, contained its own classrooms, library, and facilities and was a wonderful addition to the GCC family. These efforts allowed GCC to position itself as leader in high-quality and innovative education at the beginning of the 21st century. Below are some of the photographs and stories of this ever expanding era:

GCC North Campus Opens

During the decade, GCC added a new campus to the college. Nestled near the Thunderbird Mountains, this scenic campus offered new opportunities for students in the area to take classes and earn college credits. Below are photos of both the construction and creation of this new campus.

Architectural Rendering (GCC North)

Architectural Rendering

This architectural rendering from RNL Design shows what would later become the Beshbito Building on the GCC North campus. This rendering served as a representation of the campus that would come to be.


Architectural Rendering, Library and Computer Commons (GCC North)

Architectural Rendering, Library and Computer Commons

This architectural rendering shows the plan for the Library and Computer Commons at the GCC North Campus and largely mirrors today's facility. Note the large amount of glass that surrounds the building, a signature trait of modern-day libraries which serve as both sanctuaries of knowledge and scenic inspirations to students and scholars.


Groundbreaking for GCC North

Groundbreaking for GCC North

The official groundbreaking of the GCC North Campus took place on May 7, 2007. Pictured in the photo from left to right is MCCCD Governing Board members Jerry Walker and Linda Rosenthal, GCC President Velvie Green, GCC ASG President George Repta, MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper, GCCN Associate Dean DeeDee Denslow, and GCC Vice President Alberto Sanchez. They are digging "in the shade of nine ironwood trees salvaged from the site's natural vegetation". 1


Aerial Shot of North Campus Construction

Aerial Shot of North Campus Construction

This aerial view of the GCC North Campus during construction shows a variety of construction vehicles scattered around the campus busily toiling away at putting the finishing touches on the campus. The current campus has much more green than is currently pictured here as much of the landscaping had yet to be completed.


North Campus Construction, A View from the Ground

North Campus Construction, A View from the Ground

Here is a picture of GCC North construction from the ground. In the photograph, the stone and steel frames mark the places in which today's buildings currently stand.


Topping Out Ceremony (GCC North)

Topping Out Ceremony

The topping out ceremony was held at GCC North on January 8, 2008. This celebration is a builders' tradition when the highest building beam is put in place during construction. During the ceremony, dignitaries and well wishers signed the beam before a crane raised it high and set it in place. Balloons were released during the fanfare.


The GCC North Campus is Completed

The GCC North Campus Is Completed

Building construction was completed and the new expanded campus was unveiled to eager students in time for the Fall 2008 semester.


Building Up Main

Even with the grand and historic undertaking that was the construction of an entirely new campus at North, construction at the Main Campus also ramped up. During this decade, both the Life Science and Public Safety buildings were constructed while the Business Building and Student Union saw significant upgrades. Here are some photographs of these enterprises.

Life Science Building - Artistic Rendering

Life Science Building - Artistic Rendering

This early architectural rendering of the Life Science building was created shortly before construction around May of 2007. The facility was GCC's first three story structure and would house the Biology, Psychology and Nursing Departments. The Gould Evans design included a cafe, greenhouse, nursing pods, numerous classrooms, conference rooms and lab facilities.2


Life Science Building - Construction

Life Science Building - Construction

This photograph depicting the construction of the Life Science Building was taken in January 2008. The proposed facility was designed to contain numerous general purpose classrooms (with capacities ranging form 36 to 48 students), 72 offices and common work spaces, a central Lab Prep Area, nine Biology labs, an Animal Research lab, four Nursing Observation pods, a large (@120+ student capacity) room dividable into three smaller rooms, a working greenhouse, and a small cafe. 2


Life Science Building - Topping Out Ceremony

Life Science Building - Topping Out Ceremony

The members of the proud planning team are pictured at the Topping Out Ceremony of the Life Science building. Planning team members (from left to right) included Charles Jeffery (Acting Vice President - Administrative Services and Planning), Dr. Velvie Green (President), Dr. Steve Williams (Biology), and Dr. Ladonna Lewis (Psychology), along with John Sazma and Brett Garwood of MCCCD Facilities Planning and Development.3


Life Science Building - Complete

Life Sciences Building - Complete

This photograph is of the completed Life Science building taken in October of 2008. This Life Science building would go on to win several architectural awards, including an Honorable Mention for the Architectural Innovation from WESTMARC. More importantly, since its construction, students in Biology, Nursing, and Psychology were able to enjoy classes in the fantastic state-of-the-art facility.


Public Safety Sciences Building - Artistic Rendering

Public Safety Sciences Building - Artistic Rendering

This early artistic rendering of the Public Saftey Building helped the GCC community imagine the building before completion.


Public Safety Sciences Building - Construction

Public Safety Sciences Building - Construction

Construction workers are busily working on the Public Safety Sciences building's signature open-bay windows in October 2009.


Public Safety Sciences Building - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Public Safety Sciences Building - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

With the work completed, the celebration began. In this photograph, GCC dignitaries and community representatives cut the ribbon to officially open the building. Pictured from left to right pictured are Mike Osborn, Geoffrey Leggett, Paul Brown, Doug DeSanti, Dr. Velvie Green, Jean Ann Abel, Chris Coughlin and Dr. Rufus Gasper.


Public Safety Sciences Building - Grand Opening

Public Safety Sciences Building - Grand Opening

The Public Safety Sciences building hosted quite the opening ceremony and all aspects of the Safety Sciences were represented including firetrucks, bagpipers, firemen and more. This photograph shows the completed Public Safety Sciences building along with some of the celebrants and equipment used to christen the new complex.


Student Union renovation - Artistic Rendering

Student Union Renovation - Artistic Rendering

It may surprise students to learn that the Student Union didn't always look as it does now. An outdoor atrium lied in the center of the building, which while perhaps scenic, prevented the Student Union from living up to its full potential. Therefore, the atrium was removed and replaced with a cyber cafe where students could congregate. During this renovation, GCC also remodeled both the lounge and cafe areas to make the Student Union a true place for meeting and collaboration. This artistic rendering depicts the cybercafe to be built and provided the vision of what the space would become.


Student Union renovation - Construction

Student Union renovation - Construction

After removing the central atrium, builders began the construction of the Kalwall Dome that would be one of the most distinctive features of the building. This dome, the largest of its kind in Arizona during its construction, is weather resilient and provides a source of natural light that illuminates the building's cybercafe.


Student Union renovation - Complete

Student Union renovation - Complete

At last, construction efforts on the building were completed and the new and improved Student Union was reopened to the campus community.


Web Adventures Continued, Y2K Edition

Along with our physical spaces, GCC's virtual spaces grew as well. Take a look at the evolution of the Glendale Community College website through the decade.

GCC Website, 2000-2003

GCC Website, 2000-2003

The first website of the decade was both a graphical and navigational step forward for the college's virtual presence. This site incorporated a pictorial "G" logo with a set of navigation links to help users reach their desired destinations.


GCC Website, 2003-2007

GCC Website, 2003-2007

The next iteration of the GCC website was even more visual as it incorporated numerous pictures of the campus community. As websites developed, they have trended to include more and more visual content. This trend might be attributed to the ability of websites and computers to process larger and larger files. Early web developers were often advised to not use many images because this would significantly slow down the loading websites. However, web developers today do not have such restrictions and can incorporate a great deal of visual and graphic content on web pages.


GCC Website, 2007-2013

GCC Website, 2007-2013

Versions of this website layout would last for the next six years. By this point, the website was a robust and interactive system that could truly support a broad range of educational objectives.


Campus Sights from 2000

With the 21st century came digital photography that produced crystal clear photographs of the campus. Below are some of the sights of the 2000s in rich and vivid detail.

Tale of Two Presidents: Dr. Phillip D. RandolphTale of Two Presidents: Dr. Velvie Green

Tale of Two Presidents: Dr. Phillip D. Randolph and Dr. Velvie Green

GCC was fortunate to have two presidents, Dr. Phillip Randolph and Dr. Velvie Green, during the decade. Dr. Randolph was a familiar face because he played a significant role in developing the automotive program at GCC. In 2002, Dr. Randolph was chosen serve as GCC's president. His legacy of support and service was later celebrated during the opening of the Dr. Phillip D. Randolph Automotive Technology Center on January 15, 2016. Dr. Velvie Green became president in 2006 after Dr. Randolph retired and she led the college for the next five years. She oversaw a number of important campus initiatives and construction projects, including building and renovation projects on the Main campus and the development of the GCC North campus.


Waiting for Godot (GCC Play)

Waiting for Godot (GCC Play)

For decades GCC drama students and thespians have delighted audiences with renditions of plays both modern and classic. In this photo, taken during the February 28, 2009 performance of Waiting for Godot, GCC actors take the stage to interpret this classic play from the theater of the absurd.


GCC Courtyard

GCC Courtyard

Behind the planters of flowers in this scenic courtyard, students are engaged in campus activities. This photo is representative of the beautifully landscaped GCC campus.


High Tech Center 1

High Tech Center 1 (circa 2009)

As technology has proliferated, so have the resources and services of the High Tech Center.


Dr. Joe Griego Counseling Center Opens

Dr. Joe Griego Counseling Center Opens

On March 7, 2009, the Dr. Joe Griego Counseling and Career Services Center was dedicated in memory of the long-time GCC counselor and teacher. Griego spent 32 years at GCC and was one of its most beloved and effective student advocates. Standing in front of the newly dedicated Dr. Joe Griego Counseling and Career Services Center at GCC are, left to right: Manny Griego, retired GCC professor and brother of Dr. Joe Griego; Dr. Velvie Green, president of GCC; Anna Marie Hammon, sister of Dr. Joe Griego; Gloria Griego, widow of Dr. Joe Griego; and Dan Griego and Dr. Robert Griego, brothers of Dr. Joe Griego.4


Things Add Up at Math Solutions

Things Add Up at Math Solutions

Math Solutions is a free tutoring service offered to GCC students enrolled in math courses at the college. This program demonstrates GCC's commitment to ensuring that all students can be successful.


DNA Day

DNA Day

This is a photograph of National DNA Day festivities at GCC. During the day, GCC celebrated the discovery of DNA with a host of events, speakers, and activities illustrating the strong support GCC has for STEM-related areas and disciplines.


Dr. Rene Diaz-Lefebvre Rewarded as Professor of the Year 2006

Dr. Rene Diaz-Lefebvre Awarded Professor of the Year, 2006

GCC psychology professor Dr. Rene Diaz-Lefebvre was one of eight community college professors in the United States and the first Latino from Arizona to win this prestigious, competitive higher education award. Dr. Diaz-Lefebvre competed against more than 300 counterparts from major public and private universities in the United States. In 2006, Dr. Diaz-Lefebvre was the only Latino professor selected for this honor. The Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country -- those who excel as teachers, influence the lives and careers of their students, and demonstrate a scholarly approach to teaching and learning. The award ceremony was held in Washington, DC on November 16, 2006. The event was sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement for Teaching.


Career Expo 2006

Career Expo 2006

GCC has always had a commitment to doing whatever possible to assist students find a rewarding career that matches the degrees that they have earned. To this end, GCC holds numerous Career Expos in which students can participate. In 2006, GCC's large Career Expo was held at the University of Phoenix stadium where students met employers to discuss opportunities.


The GCC Library's Colored Walkway

The GCC Library's Colored Entrance Walkway

This photograph is of the entrance walkway to the GCC Library. This walkway features a variety of colored translucent sections. These sections echo the historic stained glass inserts in the doors of the original GCC Library.


GCC Track

GCC Track

This photograph is of the GCC track which circles the football field of the Dr. Matt O. Hanhila Stadium. This stadium was named after early Executive Dean Matt Hanhila and honors his contributions to the lasting legacy of the college.


Dumpster Dive 2008

Dumpster Dive 2008

At GCC's Annual Earth Day Dumpster Dive, GCC students assist green efforts and the community by recycling materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill.


Blooming Flowers at the GCC Campus

Blooming Flowers at the GCC Campus

GCC prides itself on the eyecatching landscaping featured across the campus's 140 acres, Take a stroll and enjoy colorful flowers, scenic trees, fresh-cut grass,and 243 picturesque palm trees.


Sunset at the GCC Campus

Sunset at the GCC Campus

The GCC campus is featured to the backdrop of a signature Arizona sunset. In the image, the covered walkway, sidewalks, streetlights, and palms coalesce in an image of breathtaking twilight beauty.


GCC In the News

The 2000s were a very turbulent decade. During this era, student reporters covered it all with a steadfast earnestness, from the heart wrenching headline: "America's Beauty Wounded by Terrorist Attacks: GCC Campus Watches in Horror as Tragic Events Unfold on Sept. 11" to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the economic downturn that was especially hard on GCC students. There were also lighter stories about the building of the Westgate Entertainment District, the rise of social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook, the election of Barack Obama, and stories of the campus community. This decade was also noteworthy for the student paper in another way. During the decade, The Voice also ran a Spanish language section, La Voz de GCC, within the newspaper, which was especially poignant given the controversial immigration measures of the time.

GCC Student Newspaper Image of the Era

The Traveler


GCC Traveler Image of the Era

Believe it or not, the GCC Traveler engendered a bit controversy during the decade when Arizona state legislators threatened to defund the college over some images and passages in the Traveler that they deemed too controversial to print or publish online. This provoked many members of the community to take a stand against these lawmakers over intellectual freedom of expression. In the end, some changes were made to the Traveler's submission policies, but the controversial issue remained uncensored. 5

Course Catalogs

GCC Course Catalog Image of the Era

Curious as to what GCC students were studying in the 2000s? Look no further than the course catalogs from this era. Here you will see the different classes and programs offered during the 2000s

Graduations

Below are the links to commencement programs for the 2000s along with corresponding videos of each ceremony. Congrats to all of our GCC Graduates during the decade!

GCC Commencement Program Image of the Era

Next Chapter: GCC Today, 2010-Present

 

 


1"GCC North Groundbreaking Gallery". Master Planning Updates.. May 2007. Found at: http://webapp.gccaz.edu/archive/MasterPlanningUpdates/10584.htm
2Master Planning Update #12. May 2007. Found at: http://webapp.gccaz.edu/archive/MasterPlanningUpdates/10583.htm
3"Life Sciences Topping Out Ceremony" Master Planning Updates. Nov 2007. Found at: http://webapp.gccaz.edu/archive/MasterPlanningUpdates/12021.htm
4"Glendale CC Counseling Center Dedicated to Memory of Griego" Maricopa Community College News. March 26, 2009. Found at: https://www.maricopa.edu/news/glendale-cc-counseling-center-dedicated-to-memory?story=543
5Allman, John W. "Banned in Glendale". Phoenix New Times. Thursday, June 14 2001. Found at: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/banned-in-glendale-6415324
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