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College music venue rebuilt

Choir hall sees revamp after year-long build

mlastra.advocate@gmail.com

Published: Monday, November 5, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 14:11


After a year spent in the Humanities Building due to renovations, music scholars now have something to look forward to with the completion of the renovated Music Building.

While the M Building will not be able to hold music classes until the spring 2013 semester, the 49-year-old building’s structural and aesthetic upgrades help ensure the safety of Contra Costa College students.

“The building is beautiful. It has kept its old look with a modern touch,” Parsons Brinckerhoff construction manager Kevin Irahola said. “(Students) should be able to enjoy the building for the next 50 years.”

The 2002 Measure A Bond funded the $3.2 million project.

The building, which was completed on Sept. 27, was originally scheduled to be done in June. However, S W Allen Construction contractors discovered large amounts of asbestos in the walls, ceilings and floors during demolition.

Along with the asbestos, contractors found walls and ceilings that were not properly insulated against potential fire and earthquake hazards.

“Once construction began, (contractors) noticed a large amount of hazardous material (asbestos) in the walls and floors,” CCC Capital Projects Manager Burl Toler said. “We were able to get approval from the district to remove the walls and (better insulate them).”

CCC Building and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the building was constructed in 1963, however, it did not meet the seismic support suited for an earthquake prior to its construction.

“When the building was originally built in 1963, the contractors did not build it up to any hazard code,” King said. “If a fire were to break out in a classroom, it would not be enclosed within the room. Instead, it would spread throughout the building since it (wasn’t up to) fire code.”

While the campus sits on the Hayward Fault, an active earthquake fault in the East Bay, the old building would not have been suited to withstand a quake, King said. However, the renovated building is better prepared.

“The main fault runs through Rheem Creek so if an earthquake were to happen, the campus would be affected,” King said. “Now, the Music Building is up to code.”

Currently, the M Building has enhanced its internal and external structure.

By placing sound panels on the walls in every classroom, the building is better equipped for music students, Irahola said.

“I think that the remodel is awesome. They (constructors) have been working on it for a long time,” liberal arts major Danielle Asher said. “I may have to take a class once the building is up and running.”

Along with the sound panels, Irahola said that the building has four smart classrooms, a new security and fire alarm system, renovated bathrooms and automatic doors suitable for  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

An improved recording studio and modernized sound system are also key additions to the renovated building.

“It will be nice to take my music history (course) in the new building,” student Cyrus Dahm said.

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