Removal of portable buildings begins, continues through 2020

Pedro Zaragoza (left) and Antonio Piñela work on removing a portion of the East campus portables on Monday, March 24, at Santa Barbara City College. The portable buildings will be removed in phases and the newly cleared area will soon be home to drought tolerant plants.

GIULIA DE PAOLI, Channels Staff

The removal of City College’s East Campus Classrooms began its initial phases over spring break with the elimination of five portable buildings.

“The buildings were old,” said City College’s architect Robert Coles. “And they were temporary.”

The East Campus Classrooms 22-27A are only five out of the total 43 portables to be removed.

Director of Facilities Julie Hendricks also clarified that the buildings did not have the California Coastal Commission permits.

Until recently, the classrooms have worked as swing space for projects related to the music, drama, humanities, chemistry, physics, Earth and biological sciences departments, and a few others.

The portables, installed on campus 15 years ago, were already 20-years-old when City College obtained them from Santa Monica College for the symbolic sum of $1, which only represented the legal transfer of ownership. The actual cost of relocating them was around $30-35,000, according to Coles.

The building’s removal process was divided in two distinct parts. There was a bid task for disconnecting the utilities from the buildings, performed by Newton Construction, and a bid to salvage or demolish them, performed by the Impact Company, which took possession of the infrastructures with the aim to refurbish them.

“The works went smoothly,” Coles said.

No other educational institution in the State could benefit from the portables, because the Division of the State Architect, whose job is to provide or review private and public construction projects throughout California.

They would not grant the license for the building’s certification.

Consequently, the only institutions able to make use of the infrastructures are companies that don’t need to comply with the permanent obligation issued by the DSA.

The ex-East Campus Classrooms will be stored in Hemit, Calif., and eventually sold.

The buildings ECC 8-13, WC 1 and 2 are scheduled to be removed in June 2014 and buildings ECC 31, ECC 32, FRC 1, and the Security building RE 7 will follow up in August.

The buildings removal will not be completed before 2020. As certain portables are removed, drought tolerant plants and other landscape projects will be replacing some of the free space.

New West Campus classrooms and Office buildings will replace only portable buildings WC 1 and 2.

Once work on the West Campus portables is completed, the removal of portables ECC 1-3, ECC 5-7, ECC 28-30, ECC 33 and WC 3 and 4 will take place over the holiday break 2016-2017.

According to Hendricks, the estimated cost of the spring break demolition was $38,000. For the removal of portables in the future, she estimates around $6,500 per portable.