Tooled to the excellence of the School
A rundown of the major renovations undertaken to GPS’s classroom and office spaces, plus what inspired their fruition
By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News
A mere year after its rebranding from the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies to GPS, it welcomed its inaugural MPP student cohort, unveiled its MCEPA degree program and expanded its faculty roster by five new professors, among other achievements.
“It tells you something important about continuity and change,” underscored GPS Dean Peter Cowhey, who is currently serving as UC San Diego’s interim executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
In continuity, GPS maintains its foundation in teaching, researching and pursuing interests in the Pacific region, he said. In change, it is leveraging the intellectual creativity of the School beyond that foundation and in parallel with UC San Diego’s strengths in STEM and health sciences.
“What is the next stage of evolution is our reinvestment in the physical structure of the School,” Cowhey said, addressing students at the Dean’s Welcome Reception on Sept. 23 that also served as an official re-opening of GPS’s newly renovated classroom and office spaces.
The renovations, which encompassed a complete facelift to the GPS auditorium and the entirety of Building 3, spanned the summer break and were conducted by Dempsey Construction Inc. and Joseph Wong Design Associates.
In addition to updating classrooms 3201 and 3202, the upstairs of Building 3 also now boasts a new classroom and study and meeting spaces for students extending from the lobby to the former location of the computer lab.
Meanwhile, the downstairs of Building 3 saw a total overhaul of its layout and use.
Offices for career services and student affairs staff—both GPS and UC San Diego’s International Studies Program—line the walls, providing more direct and consolidated services for students. A new video conference room also was installed, as well as more study and lounging areas for students. Lastly, a spacious conference room hubs the new layout.
Among the most standout facets of the renovations are technological improvements, as seen in the new video conference room and power outlets a plenty in the new tables, chairs and other areas. The GPS IT team remains downstairs in Building 3, as an easily accessible resource for students, staff and faculty. The more open floor plan was designed with natural collaboration between students, faculty and staff in mind, and the updated auditorium is now better suited for hosting public events and other engagements.
“All of these things are designed to allow our faculty to work with you at the best levels but also to allow you to work together in the mutual learning experience,” Cowhey said.
And with the snip of a red ribbon in the GPS courtyard he declared, “The School now lives up to the excellence of the people at GPS.”