Music Building remains closed
Structural components still need to be installed
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 21:02
As installation issues arise delaying the completion of the Music Building until at least May, music students must continue their temporary stay in the Humanities Building.
“The Music Building is still not ready yet,” music department Chairperson Stephanie Austin said. “(The music department) will be moving in at the end of the semester.”
Problems that have contributed to the delay include a lack of heat ventilation and air conditioning control, a lack of security, poor water pressure and uninstalled information technology.
“When we went through the (walk through), there were still things needed to be fixed — the toilets wouldn’t flush in the ladies’ bathroom,” Building and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. “(Information technology) also still needed to be installed otherwise people inside the building wouldn’t be able to use a phone to contact anyone else at the college.”
King said the department’s faculty and project managers of the renovation went through a “punchlist,” a checklist to confirm what was finished. The delays were then found, pushing back the completion date from September 2012 to March of this year.
Because of equipment that still needs to be moved into the M Building upon completion, King said the department wouldn’t be able to move in until May.
“We were supposed to be in (the M Building) last semester,” music major Daniel Ruiz said. “It’s not fair to any of us, especially for the students who are transferring this year.”
As music students continue to wait for the finalization of the building, they must continue to attend classes and practice in the H Building.
Music major Alfonso Martinez said concentrating is difficult because people can be heard outside the room, walking down the hall.
“We don’t have trouble with people playing in the piano (rooms), but it was more comfortable in (the M Building’s) practice rooms,” music major Eric Almaraz said. “In the practice rooms, you didn’t have to worry about playing over someone else’s (music).”
The $3.2 million renovation to the 50-year-old building, however, is familiar with delays as the completion was originally scheduled for June 2012.
King said the walls weren’t properly sealed to the roof, creating a fire hazard. In the case that fire were to spread out of one room, it could have easily traveled to another because of the improper seal.
“When (the contractors) began to tear down the walls, they realized there were more things needing to be done,” college President Denise Noldon said.
Also, as walls were being torn apart in August 2011, contractors found asbestos fibers inside, installed when the building was constructed in 1962.
Asbestos is now classified as a carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its fibers, when inhaled, can lead to lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Consequently, S W Allen Construction Inc., the contractor assigned to the project funded by the 2002 Measure A Bond, pushed back the completion date to September 2012.
The building also had to go through seismic retrofitting because it didn’t meet structural support standards, King said. The campus sits on the Hayward Fault, an active earthquake fault in the East Bay.
Construction for the infrastructure of the building is completed.
“We gutted the whole building – we took down and fixed the walls, the floors and the ceilings,” King said. “The building has a new recording studio and a small performance hall. For the atrium, we re-did the landscape and added cemented benches.”