SALINAS, Calif. -

Hartnell Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its new science center building.

The new building, to be located at 411 Central Ave., will help focus on so-called STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -education.

Astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology, physics, math, and engineering will be among the programs that will have access to the state of the art facilities provided in the new building. The new construction is funded by a mix of private donations and Measure H, a bond measure passed by voters.

The 54,000-square-foot building will include six lecture spaces, ten laboratories and a planetarium. It's scheduled to open in time for the spring 2016 semester.