The Demolition of the Old Mesa Commons: A Story in Pictures

Ian Caffarel, Staff Writer

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Over the last semester, the buildings that previously housed the old Mesa Commons and Bookstore were demolished over a four-month period.

This wasn’t really that long in the coming, considering it would inevitably happen, following the construction and opening of the new Commons building immediately adjacent it.

A record of photos starting in October shows how it was demolished.

The procession, to say the least, is staggering.

Over the summer, the facilities in the building, namely the cafeteria and bookstore, and even a Starbucks, were vacated, in anticipation of moving to the new building, which began use in August, and had the official opening ceremony in September. Since there was no more use for the old commons building, it therefore would be demolished shortly thereafter to clear the way for new construction to follow on its site.

After the festivities surrounding the new commons, the demolitions began.

Throughout the month of October, the half that at one point housed the bookstore was smashed into rubble. One section at a time, one day at a time. The whole process, start to finish, took no more than four weeks.

Then it was the turn of the south half, the former cafeteria.

How the demolition was carried out was rather methodical.

First, the innards of the building are removed. Next, the roof is pulled off, as the boarded-up walls are torn down. The supports that held the building up are cut down as well. The debris is then moved into a pile, as it awaits disposal. This all happened day in and day out, over three months.

By early December, the process was complete. The old commons site now houses massive piles of debris, which are awaiting further extraction and removal as the month progresses. By the time the spring semester is well under way, the rubble will be gone and the old site will be clear.

But it won’t be that way for long.

Very soon, the old Mesa Commons site will be the site for the Center of Business and Technology, which will commence construction soon and should be open in time for Spring 2018. After that, and the completion of the Fine Arts building, around the same time, save some continuing facilities improvements, there is no construction tabbed for Mesa, at least for the foreseeable future.

It’s just amazing how quickly the old bookstore building went down, as quickly as the new one went up. However, it pales in comparison to what will go up in it’s place. According to the SDCCD Props S and N website, “the 60,000 gross-square-foot, two-story building will include classrooms and laboratories for courses in the Computer Business Technologies program, computer information sciences, multi-media programming, geography information systems programs, and Fashion.”

There’s going to be some exciting changes coming to Mesa College over the next few years.

But for now, here’s to the old commons site, and the building that will take its place.