12 year, $300 million face-lift set to rejuvenate SBCC Campus

GIULIA DE PAOLI, Channels Staff

City College has committed to a $300 million project to modernize 12 outdated campus buildings to advance teaching, learning and student success.

“We have a real need,” said Superintendent-President Lori Gaskin. “We are not seeking to grow, we are seeking to modernize our facilities and get rid of the portables.”

The Board of Trustees put together a plan which focuses on the buildings replacement, most of which are over 40-years-old. The plan includes technology and the inner infrastructure upgrades where feasible and the substitution of the portables with permanent classrooms, as required by the California Coastal Commissions.

“The buildings have been well-loved,” said Gaskin to the many students that have walked through the buildings’ doors.

Buildings that will be completely replaced are the Campus Center, East Campus Classrooms and office buildings, Wake Center, and the Sports Pavilion.

The Administration Building, Occupational Education, Luria Library, Marine Diving Technology Building, Schott Center and the Student Services Building will undergo major renovations to maximize their mechanics, lighting, heating systems, isolation and general infrastructure.

The portables will be redesigned into brand new classrooms adjacent to the Student Services Building.

The State originally gave money to edifice scholastic infrastructures, but since it has not been able to keep up with the building’s remodeling and maintenance, City College needs to reach out to the voters in Santa Barbara’s district and ask whether they could place an assessment on the properties they own to fund the project.

The voters will be asked if they are willing to help City College in its plan of renovation and if they would agree to increase their properties taxes.

However, the Board recently proposed a budget of $20 million for the replacement of the Campus Center, “the living room of the campus,” as Dr. Gaskin defined it.

According to Gaskin’s Monday Morning Update, the budget derives from the remaining balance of the state capital outlay bond accumulated over the years from other projects across the system. The Campus Center is considered a safety project within the state’s categorization of facility improvement needs, but the budget amount will not be approved until July 1.

“We really want to improve our College’s environmental qualities, landscape and energy use,” said Jack Friedlander, executive vice president of educational programs.

If the Board of Trustees approves the final bond measure in June, the projects will start in November 2014 and carry out for approximately 12 years.