KENTFIELD, Calif., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening and dedication of the state-of-the-art Science, Math, Nursing building with noted lecturer and alumnus Adam Steltzner from the NASA Mars Rover "Curiosity" expedition. Steltzner's lecture, titled "The Right Kind of Crazy—An Improbable Journey to Mars," will be followed by a ribbon cutting and interactive tours throughout the afternoon on May 10. The event is open and free to all. Friday, May 10Kentfield Campus1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.Dr. Adam Steltzner, lead mechanical engineer of the NASA Mars Rover Project James Dunn Theatre 2:30 p.m.– 3 p.m.Ribbon Cutting and DedicationScience, Math, Nursing Building, Orbital Court 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.Interactive Tours of Classrooms and LabsScience, Math, Nursing Building The 77,000-square-foot, three-story building on the Kentfield campus is home to state-of-the-art smart classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices. The facility, which opened to students in January, features specialized laboratory ventilation and improved safety systems. It also houses a new Central Plant that accommodates electrical and mechanical equipment for the campus. The structure and surrounding landscaping echo natural elements in the environment and a new West Bridge over Corte Madera Creek improves access to the campus from the south. "Modernizing outdated facilities have been a top priority for the College of Marin Board of Trustees who used Measure C funds to support sustainable building practices," said Dr. David Wain Coon, COM Superintendent/President. "We invite the community to come by and see how much their support means to the students we teach." The college broke ground on the $56 million project in 2010. The building was designed by ED2 International Architects/Planners of San Francisco. Lathrop Construction Associates, Inc. of Benicia handled construction and Swinerton Management & Consulting of San Francisco served as program and construction manager of the project. It involved the demolition of several buildings including Dickson Hall, the Dance Center, the Disabled Students Building and the Green House. The innovatively designed building ( http://www.marin.edu/MeasureC/PhotoGallery/SMCP.htm) was designed to meet the highest sustainable building practices and has been submitted for Gold Certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program by the U.S. Green Building Council. It features photovoltaic panels and a geothermal heating and cooling water system. Natural lighting and inviting indoor and outdoor meeting spaces encourage collaboration among students, faculty and staff. "It really brings the faculty together in a positive way," said Laura McCarty, director of Modernization. "The building lends itself to learning both inside the classroom and out. People love it. It makes them feel like they're at a university-caliber building." The College has been recognized numerous times for its environmental stewardship that has involved Gold and Silver LEED designations for buildings as well as commendations for energy use reductions. Examples of LEED credits include energy efficiency, reduced water consumption, high air quality maintenance, recycled or recyclable building materials, transportation demand management, green roofs and tobacco smoke control.