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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

East Campus portables considered unsafe

Andreea Serban

City College will look to remove the East Campus portable buildings after a structural assessment deemed 22 of the 28 buildings unsafe.

According to an assessment conducted in July by Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects Inc., six of the 28 buildings installed in 2007 are in relatively good condition. The District of the State Architect ordered the assessment after they were found to be lacking the state architect’s approval. The other 22 are in fair to poor condition and need to be repaired or replaced.

“You will not be seeing a recommendation from us to remodel, reconstruct, renovate, those portables,” said Superintendent-President Lori Gaskin. “They need to be removed.”

The 22 portables were constructed between 1993 and 1994 and were relocated to City College from Santa Monica College in 1999. Multiple buildings have structural issues due to drainage problems, which allow water to pool in the foundation.

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“Those foundations are all dry rotting,” said Joe Wilcox, an architect for Kruger Bensen Ziemer, at a Board of Trustees Facilities Committee meeting on Sept. 24. “It’s definitely a code issue.”

The assessment identified the buildings’ physical condition and determination if the buildings can be considered “safe” or “unsafe.” The reviewed issues in the report included access issues for the disabled, fire protection, site storm drainage and under floor ventilation.

“I would feel safer in a real building than in the portables,” said Aaron Gomez, 18, a chemistry student. “They are ugly, and I hate having classes there.”

The original manufacturer of the buildings has since gone out of business and therefore Kruger Bensen Ziemer architects were unable to obtain original drawings and inspection forms required for state architect approval.

In the midst of budget cuts, Continuing Ed reorganization, and uncertainty surrounding the passage of Proposition 30, trustee Joan Livingston lamented the scheduling of these portable issues.

“I don’t think anybody is defending these at all,” she said. “It’s just a matter of timing of them and how they fit into the overall larger overall building program. I’m always happy to see these things go.”

According to an estimated cost report, it would take $2,534,502 to repair the damaged portables. The college has proposed to build a $16 million dollar West Campus classroom building instead to eventually replace them.

-Journalism 101 students Karina Dominguez, Emma Hjortman and Gill Lopez contributed to this story.

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