Southwestern College Institutional Technology Building

  • Location:

    Chula Vista, California

  • Client:

    Southwestern Community College District

  • Construction Value:


  • Delivery Method:

    Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR)

  • Year Completed:

    In progress

  • Specialties:

    Data Centers, Higher Education

Features & Highlights

  • 18,500-square-foot building hosting a data center and IT support spaces
  • Expanded digital capabilities will improve student access and learning experience
  • Net-zero energy facility with rooftop solar array and other green building features
  • Project team created proactive solutions to quality and supply chain challenges
Project Overview

Sundt is serving as the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for a new Institutional Technology Building at Southwestern College. The 18,500-square-foot project includes a data center as well as offices and conference room space for instructional and IT staff. The project marks a new milestone for Southwestern College as its first net-zero energy (NZE) building, with all parts of the structure except the data center meeting NZE standards.

To finish in time for the upcoming fall semester, our project team has worked collaboratively to head off several would-be issues. These include proactively correcting embed layout issues in the tilt-wall panels using 3D scanning technology, which saved time and money. The team also identified missing utility tie-ins that were part of another project yet to break ground. They worked with the district to identify portions of the other project that needed to be installed as a part of the Institutional Technology Building project, which sped up the procurement process. The team also anticipated potential supply chain delays involved in procuring the new main power switches needed and worked with the electrical subcontractor to create an appropriate temporary switch condition to get the building energized.

Other programming beyond data center and administrative use will include network infrastructure, AV build-up, applications and research, and planning operations with helpdesk and desktop support. Most of the building’s interior will remain behind the scenes from students, but its digital capabilities will create more access to resources for a better learning experience. Among other functions, the new building will support the college’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) system, which allows students to utilize lab apps and software remotely, as if they were on campus.

Architecturally, the building features glass curtain walls, a rooftop solar array that doubles as a shade canopy, and exposed glulam beams, which will provide the interior a rich texture and welcoming feel. Much of the building’s exterior skin consists of architectural concrete tilt-wall panels. The thermal mass of these panels further insulates the interior, while providing an attractive and highly durable aesthetic that responds to the district’s Mayan theme.

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“Sundt’s leadership played an integral role as the CMAR on the Institutional Technology Project. From the initiation of construction, Sundt’s dedication to partner with the District led to the success of this project completing ahead of schedule and within budget. The overall project leadership, oversight of subcontractors, and safety was exceptional. The entire Sundt team took full responsibility and accountability for the overall success of the Institutional Technology Project.”
– Gabriela Arana, Project Manager, Southwestern College